Review Summary: Rising above all of the sound is Natasha Kahn's astounding vocals, a gentle, slightly breathy voice, which carries the beautiful melodies of most of the music. Throughout the record her voice soars to dizzying heights, and comes right back down to catchy
How many records have made you cry?
The sound of Fur and Gold is very organic, which is refreshing these days, since most pop music tends to sound rather clinical, which rehashed, rushed and unappealing synth tracks. Every once in a while however, pop transcends and reinvents itself, while the pepsi generation nod and spend their way through life, true artists create something truly fresh, and truly moving. There is a wide range of instruments at play on this record, the harp, strings, Hammond Organ, horns. Far from the staple guitars and drums, or two turntables which account for most modern music. The strings and the instrumentals are recorded organically as well, there are no computer generated strings and horns, and no pro tools. I believe it is because of this, they have proven themselves a strong live presence. They are all true musicians, not jingle merchants.
Rising above all of the sound is Natasha Kahn's astounding vocals, a gentle, slightly breathy voice, which carries the beautiful melodies of most of the music. Throughout the record her voice soars to dizzying heights, and comes right back down to catchy choruses and spoken verses, all at once captivating and keeping attention.
When I first heard the single ''What’s a girl to do?'' I was completely taken aback. It brought a completely new understanding of what had happened to me in a relationship, of which the break up lead to me having a nervous breakdown which I am still recovering from almost a year later. This song did not sum up my own feelings about what had happened, this opened a whole new perspective of what she really felt about me. I'm glad I was at home because it brought me, very quickly, to gentle tears.
Hearing the record however was even more devastating, because it carries on the story, and is her writing about someone she left behind. This, to me, is the centrepiece of the record, which is luckily also seeped in mystical escapist themes, which didn't let me dwell on my feelings for too long. As soon as the record finished, I phoned my best friend and told her about it.
The themes of this record are very ranged, from the aforementioned break up song, there are also songs inspired by English folklore, reminiscent of the tales of King Arthur. Seeped in the beauty of the British countryside. Other songs consider relationships, usually the song titles take their name from the subject of the song. The final track, the incredibly dark and sparse dream tale of ''I Saw a Light'' tells of two lovers committing ritual suicide, in a very haunting fashion, and a strong end to a consistent record.
I must admit that I know very little about English folk music, but this record has made me very interested. All I knew before this was traditional songs friends at school could play and the wicker man soundtrack. Although I think this is much more of an alternative experimental record than a folk record, the rich colours of the folk influences really make this record stand out in my collection.
This is definitely the record which deserves to win the mercury music award (which is on the radio in less than an hour) despite not being as popular with the public as other nominated artists such as Amy Winehouse, and The Arctic Monkeys.