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Music | Review: “New Forest” by Cathy Davey

"New Forest" by Cathy Davey.

Label: Hammer Toe

Released: 2016

It has been well noted that Cathy Davey has a consistent and particular style of music. It’s jingle-jangled complexity of rhythms wrapped in a sweet hush set of vocals usually, so it does not surprise many to hear what many would say is a continuation of “The Nameless”. ‘The Snitch’ is a prime example of Davey’s songwriting style, wandering through the rhythm woods that ‘Little Red’ once did.

Lyrics are magical and endlessly refreshing. Exploring the depths of the well that has been a regular source of inspiration for Cathy Davey, this album throws ‘The Pattern’ and ‘Birdie’ out to the faithful with experimentation hidden within. ‘Arrow’ is a surprise departure, once that just did not work upon listening. Would it have suited anywhere else on the record? Unlikely.

‘My Old Man’ is a return to the norm, pretty plucking along the track fascinatingly bizarre from start to finish, which is expected from a record such as this. It really is a case of going to the woods and finding a surprise in every corner. Dark and mystical, wobbling synths and sparkling keys to lift spirits, ‘Bucket’ is a sonic and lyrical wonder.

Six years since the last long offering (Cathy has been pursuing other projects in the meantime), this album feels more imaginative without being over-indulging. Leaning towards a pop song structure at times, each track still holding that essence of enchantment. Bowing out with ‘Chrysocoma’, it would look like a strong sense of identity has been firmly established here in what perhaps was the wilderness. Recorded in Connemara, it seems there is something infectious in the West.

“New Forest” is out now.