Ah, England, you and your light drizzle. You really know how to start a Friday morning with the right foot. If you feel a bit gloomy yourself, you may be in the right state of mind for this raw alt-folk-ish gem. I’d rather not call it folk, as the music itself draws from such a rich spectrum of references.
Camomile is Algernon Doll’s journey through a difficult year dealing with the mentally debilitating toils of extreme anxiety disorder and bipolar. After having experienced with the punk and hardcore scene, Algernon Doll, moniker for Ewan Grant, progressed his sound to the next level, in order to exorcise his own demons. Camomile leads us to the deep meanders of his own mind, using music as a vehicle of emotions.
The acoustic guitar picking keeps clashing with the tense background made of cello intermissions and and interferences, almost emphasising the power that bipolar disorder exerts on music (I tried…, Son of a Gun, brother to None). Vocals are almost about to crack with emotion, haunted by spooky backing vocals and echoes, stressing on the feeling of paranoia that crawls during the the whole full length (Tender Attention). In a roller-coaster of sensations, the album goes from reveberber-y new wave hints (Strung Between, Feather to Fall), to some minimal acoustic tracks, slightly warmer in the sweet-sour approach (Coast). The gloomy atmosphere will slowly blur, as the subtle feedback crescendos explode from the tension reached, leaving the helpless listener surrounded by a Twilight Singer-esque gothic aura (Styrofoam Eyes). The album slowly leads to a Jeff Buckley-like confession with the closure of the title-track Camomile, in which the frustration is explicated via a barely audible distortion, that will eventually lead to full fireworks.
As you may know by now, I like to challenge myself exploring “difficult” albums, as life is not all made of sunshine pop sugary landscapes and unicorns. As an intimate statement of human suffering and frustration, Camomile is one of a kind.
Similar Artist: Jeff Buckley, Twilight Singer
2. Spiral Sounds
3. I Tried…
4. Styrofoam Eyes
6. Feather to a Fall
7. Intermission (Apology #1)
8. Son of a Gun, Brother to None
9. Tender Attention
10. Strung Between
11. My Apologies