Album: Patrick Wolf, Brumalia EP (Hideout/Mercury) (3/5)


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The Independent Culture

A sort of seasonal addendum to his Lupercalia album (Brumalia being the Roman festival of winter), this seven-track EP takes that album's homesick plea for fellowship, "Together", and gives it a festive slant by following it with "Time of Year", a like-minded song for absent friends at Christmas, especially the military.

"What frankincense or myrrh do they seek, for to send our soldiers to these burning sands?" asks Wolf, against a backdrop of big beats, cheesy honking reeds and a brief rattle of sleighbells. Elsewhere, he phrases like David Sylvian over the harpsichord, harmonium, theremin, strings and musical saw of "Bitten"; offers sampled reflections from rural Florida and rioting London in "Pelicans" and "Nemoralia"; and delivers an impassioned, uncluttered rendition of "Jerusalem".

DOWNLOAD THIS Bitten; Together; Time of Year