12 June, 2013 in Music Reviews
Anne Marie Almedal takes you deep into the heart of a Nordic forest, with the leafy folk of ‘Memory Lane’
earby the sleep town of Coleford, Gloucestershire lies Puzzlewood, an area of such natural beauty that it’s said to have provided the inspiration for JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. If it led Tolkien to pick up the pen and create wondrous landscapes, it wouldn’t be surprising for it to have caused Anne Marie Almedal to have grabbed her guitar and write the lush melodies that decorate Memory Lane.
Almedal is unlikely ever to have ventured to Puzzlewood, being a Norwegian national. Given her nationality, though, she may never have needed to – Norway is hardly short of its own sweeping forests. And this sense of woody inspiration resonates throughout Memory Lane, with Almedal bringing to mind the classic folk of Joni Mitchell, not unlike Songwriting favourite Jessica Pratt, or a Celtic Stealing Sheep.
Indeed, it comes as little surprise to discover that the album was mixed by John Wood, who has previously worked with Nick Drake, a songwriter whose music also felt from another age. Double bassist Danny Thompson, who worked with Drake, Tim Buckley and Kate Bush and was founding member of 70s folkers Pentangle, also features.
What does surprise though is that for all the excellent melodies that Almedal can conjure from her guitar, such as on Two Of A Kind and Back To Where It Started, it’s the piano that takes precedence. Every song that sees fingers twinkling across the ivories is a treat, though particular highlights are One Day, Winter Song and And It’s The Loneliness, which oddly bring to mind a female Damien Rice.
Memory Lane is an album to take deep into the heart of a forest, headphones plugged in, and immerse oneself in otherworldly wonderment. If you’re lucky it may just inspire you, too.
Verdict: Leafy, lush, otherworldly folk
Below, you can watch the video to Memory Lane itself