thee, stranded horse Churning Strides (CD, £10.50)label: Blank Tapes
The outstanding debut album of May 2007 from France's Thee, Stranded Horse, ‘Churning Strides’ is an album that draws you in slowly and then leads you out into a head space uniquely its own. The work of singer, songwriter and Normandy resident, Yann Tambour, this is a suite of songs that gleams like the moon on water and follows impulses that work like tides, slowly but irresistibly. Playing acoustic guitar and kora, Tambour has a crafted neo-folk sound that slips and slides from place to place and feeling to feeling. The music of sub-Saharan Africa, Delta blues, French chanson, the cosmic folk of Tyrannosaurus Rex… all of these may come to mind at different points, yet none are the key to Thee, Stranded Horse. That is Yann's voice and lyrics - mostly in fluent English – with their stops, starts and restless shifts from image to sound image. Yann Tambour has previously made music as the founder and orchestrator of Encre, an outfit which made use of samples, guitars (electric and acoustic), as well as other live instruments and his own unmistakable voice. Encre's two albums, ‘Encre’ (2001) and ‘Flux’ (2004), were released in France to great acclaim, but Yann made a clean break in 2006, exploring the kora, moving to the Normandy countryside and dreaming up the acoustic reveries and voices of Thee, Stranded Horse.
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