Dandelion Charm – Riding The Flood EP album review
Psych folk duo make soaring anthems.
Psychedelic folk is a loaded phrase. It conjures images of flowers, joss sticks, the endless summers of forgotten youth and, well, the whiff of something ‘medicinal’. With a name like ‘Dandelion Charm’ it would be easy to write off this Newhaven-based duo as 60s throwbacks. Oh, how wrong you would be. If this follow-up to debut Tiny Drop begins with a drowsy, nostalgic slab of acoustica, it only gains momentum as it unfolds. Its opener September is beautiful and anthemic – exquisite harmonies and guitar patterns à la Crosby, Stills And Nash – but it’s only an aperitif. The heartbeat of Riding The Flood is the title track and The Spark which combine prog-era Opeth melancholy, the exquisite pop sensibilities of Fleetwood Mac and hints of Gilmour-Floyd. However, it’s the interaction between the voices that root this record. When Clare Fowler’s voice soars on The Great Believer, her husband John has the sense to hold the ground. Yet, his voice is a rich, warm instrument itself. It shows real discipline that neither needs to show off. These are songs of loss and quiet desperation: the brilliance of Dandelion Charm lies in making fist-pumping anthems in a minor-key.