2020 album. Folk. Also available on CD.
Irish-based songwriter Amelia Baker aka Cinder Well is at the vanguard of a different kind of transatlantic folk revival, one forged amidst the uncertainty of a global pandemic. Her music isn’t nihilistic; instead, it strips traditional forms to their bones, creating a meditative, trance-like space for sonic healing. The sparse soundscapes and haunting stillness of her new album ‘No Summer’ are not meant to be paens to loneliness. Rather, Baker was inspired by the rich musical connectivity of the pub scene in Ireland, and her move from California to County Clare to study traditional music of the region. A member of anarchist folk project Blackbird Raum, Baker’s time on the circuit with Irish trad-punk group Lankum eventually led her to a small settlement in County Clare, and to the rich dissonance of her music as Cinder Well, a dissonance caught between worlds and histories.
The original songs on ‘No Summer’ boldly rub shoulders with careful reworkings of traditional Appalachian sources. Baker’s songs parse these transatlantic traditions, and throughout, her remarkable voice cuts to the bone like some ghostly ballad singer bound to sing these words from here to eternity. From the eerily prophetic title track which presaged a season of canceled shows to “Our Lady’s”’s imagined stories of spectral abandoned asylum residents, ‘No Summer’ is as haunting as it is connected, as dark as it is sacred, a kind of ritual healing that’s existed through the ages.
To create ‘No Summer’, Baker sought out Nich Wilbur (Black Belt Eagle Scout, Angel Olsen) of “The Unknown” studio in Anacortes, WA. This studio in a converted church is known for its work with The Microphones and Mount Eerie, and its quiet nature gave Baker space to explore the songs. “I was sleeping in the church,” she says “and it felt haunted, but it gave me this incredible experience of being really focused. I was listening to David Lynch’s audiobook about creativity every night. I was in a zone where I had a very clear image of what I wanted to capture in the sound and the story of it.”
Tracklisting: Wandering Boy / No Summer / Our Lady’s / Fallen / The Cuckoo / Old Enough / Queen Of The Earth, Child Of The Skies / The Doorway / From Behind The Curtain