Fern Knight: Music for Witches and Alchemists

[20 February 2007]

By Alan Brown

Fern Knight play a vibrant British-influenced folk that sounds like all their clocks stopped dead some time between 1972, when Scottish singer Shelagh McDonald became an acid casualty, and the break-up of Pentangle the following year.  Lush string arrangements and ghostly cello glide over this second album by the Philadelphia-based musical collective as Margaret Wienk’s voice beguiles you into a rich tapestry of singular tales that, among other things, humourously uses tapeworms as a metaphor for a love broken (“Lintworme, Pt.I”).  Elsewhere, Greg Weeks and Meg Baird, two thirds of Philly neighbours the Espers, help Wienk out by contributing tight harmony backing, and in Weeks’s case, some excellent psych-drone on acid lead guitar, to a clutch of songs including the melancholy poesy “Awake Angel Snake”, while Alec K. Redfearn provides a haunting accordion that resonates across the majority of the eleven cuts here to startling effect.  Spellbinding.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/fern-knight-music-for-witches-and-alchemists/