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Fuzzy-Felt Folk, TRUNK
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The Independent Culture

Project a vector from the creepy kids' infant-pop of the Langley Schools Music Project, and where it meets the current strange-folk boom, you'll find Fuzzy-Felt Folk, a compilation of whimsical songs for children, strongly redolent of teatime television programmes of the Sixties and Seventies. Their charms are largely reliant on one's tolerance threshold for lyrics about "paper dreams tied up with bits of string" and "chasing frogs through rainbows in my mind". Both these are taken from Basil Kirchin's "I Start Counting", a typical example of the "educational" values at work. Peggy Zeitlin's Woody Guthrie-esque "Spin Spider Spin" is a disguised elocution exercise, while The Barbara Moore Singers' "The Elf" ("See him hop! See him skip!") is for infant dance classes. Fairytales and nursery rhymes predominate - at times, it's like the Mike Sammes Singers sing the Wicker Man songbook. The results can be oddly avant-garde: with its staccato melody, shimmery tinklings and atonal guitar, Orriel Smith's "Winds Of Space" sounds like something Tom Waits might have made for a newborn child. Decidedly weird.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Winds of Space', 'The Troll', 'Merry Ocarina'