Album: Rasputina

Oh Perilous World (Filthy Bonnet Co)
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The Independent Culture

Formed some 15 years ago as an "electric cello choir", Rasputina have spent the intervening years recording half a dozen albums and biding their time until musical fashion tugged their rarefied chamber-rock sound into style. Now trimmed to just cellist/ singer Melora Creager, drummer Jonathon TeBeest and second vocalist Sarah Bowman, their latest album finds them occupying territory adjacent to Bat For Lashes and Joanna Newsom.

A concept album with lyrics partly constructed from fragments of news and history, Oh Perilous World blends together ancient and modern with a cavalier panache: in "Child Soldier Rebellion", the Children's Crusade is conflated with the Lord's Resistance Army, while over a jangle of dulcimer and stern cello, "1816, the Year Without a Summer" considers the origins of that year's Little Ice Age in volcanic eruption. The album is never less than intriguing, though Creagar's limited instrumental palette of cello, dulcimer and recorder does make it a tough listen at times.

Download this: '1816, the Year Without a Summer', 'Choose Me for Champion', 'Bring Back the Egg Unbroken'