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In Gowan Ring - Hazel Steps Through a Weathered Home

After catching In Gowan Ring as support to Sorrow at the Red Rose Club in London a few years back, I'd written them off as American kids with a pixie fixation. Tracks on compilations (The Pact II, Mask of the People) had done little to dispel that notion. That makes the arrival of Hazel Steps Through a Weathered Home all the more surprising. The mock pixie dance has been replaced with something more pure, fragile and ultimately captivating. The aching strings on the opening track that accompany the lilting gentle vocals set the scene for this serene selection of folk songs. The music is frail and exposed, of simple plucked guitar, that's as deft as anything Current Ninety Three / Nature & Organisation's Michael Cashmore has produced. B'eirth's vocal is restrained in its delivery offering his beautiful poetic lyrics, like an American Nick Drake. I could put some marketing spin on this by mentioning that both Annabel Lee and Michael Moynihan of Blood Axis contribute strings and percussion here but perhaps it's irrelevant as this aching / haunting collection can more than stand on its own merits. Even though the final track consists solely of piano and vocal the nearest comparisons for Hazel Steps... would be Fire & Ice or going back the Incredible String Band but the roots of In Gowan Ring are in mediaeval musics while you can detect clear influences from the sixties folk era.

Several editions of Hazel Steps Through a Weathered Home are available including a leather bound edition, and a handmade book edition with marble inset. All can be purchased using paypal. For more information go to