The Canadian duo have successfully blended the poems of Archibald Lampman and Thomas Moore with their classical-tinged sparse folk arrangements
Alt-folk duo October Gold is a collaboration between singer-songwriter Kit Soden and violinist Aliza Thibodeau. The Montreal-based couple blend elements of roots and classical music and have returned with a self-titled EP, the follow up to the 2013 album Bridge Of The Sun.
Limiting themselves to only five songs works in the band’s favour, giving the tracks an overall arc which might drag over a longer running time. The lyrics are reworkings of poems by Archibald Lampman and Thomas Moore and add an expressive hue that jumps out from the modest shades of the musical arrangements. From the opening strings of At The Mid Hour Of Night, you are drawn into October Gold’s world, a land of imagery and soft splendour.
For some, the poetic nature might prove something of a barrier. Take the words of Altitude, lifted directly from Lampman’s Outlook, “Though strife, ill fortune, and harsh human need / Beat down the soul, at moments blind and dumb with agony.” Impenetrably esoteric or gracefully revealing, each view holds some merit. What is certain though is that they lend these songs a rare quality that is unlike anything else you’re likely to hear in modern folk.
Verdict: Understated and poetic folk