Album: Susanna K Wallumrod, Giovanna Pessi, If Grief Could Wait (ECM)

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The Independent Culture

It's not at all Santa-related but this collaboration between vocalist Wallumrod (late of Susanna and the Magical Orchestra) and baroque-harpist Pessi has an authentic winter-song feel.

Bare-bones settings of songs by Henry Purcell sit next to reworkings of Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake, with the spectral sounds of viola da gamba and the hurdy gurdy-like nyckelharpa (a Swedish "keyed fiddle") added to Pessi's virtuoso accompaniment. It's beguiling, slightly monotonous, but very effective.