March 06, 2019

Astralingua: Safe Passage

photo: Lisa Siciliano

Astralingua take space folk to a whole new level on their debut album Safe Passage, a glorious blend of strings and poetry that bridges the gap between psychedelic folk and classical music. Composer Joseph Andrew Thompson and vocalist Anne Rose Thompson have used the best bits of the arranging ideas of George Martin, the visions of William Blake, and even the legend of King Arthur to lure the listener into a journey to both the stars and as well as exploring the fears and feats that are closer to home: mortality, love, friendship, betrayal, and alienation.

This album is a complete package, a string of loosely connected songs (bot not a concept album per se) that is filled with so many hidden gems and jaw-dropping musicianship that it might require sometime to fully digest and appreciate. Space Blues captures the loneliness and homesickness of the unnamed traveler as he stairs out of his window of his vessel. Has the dream to move beyond the boundaries of Earth turned into a nightmare? Sweet Dreams and A Poison Tree (a classic poem by William Blake set to music) are like the two sides of the coin. The former celebrates a communal place where friendship never dies, the latter marks the end, ending it end violence and death. It's this inner tension that Safe Passage such an intriguing piece of art, raising questions, providing some answers but leaving plenty of opportunity to come up with an interpretation of one's own.

They have a created a maze combined with a hall of mirrors - food for thought and reminiscing. Combined with the dreamy visual that were used for their videos it should performed as a Gesamtkunstwerk in theaters with superb acoustics.

Joseph Andrew Thompson: vocals, guitar, piano, keys, cajon, percussion, sound design/FX
Anne Rose Thompson: vocals
Mike Clairmont: bass, double bass
Andrew Smith: violin
Josh Misner: violin
Andrea Mills: cello
Deryn Cullen: cello
Sean Rubin: double bass
Chris Hillman: mandolin
Ray Legere: mandolin
David Weiss: flutes
Kyle May: snare drums

Safe Passage is released via Midnight Lamp Records (digital and limited CD - 200 copies). Release date: March 8th.

  1. Plunge
  2. Visitor
  3. Sweet Dreams
  4. The Nimble Men
  5. Space Blues
  6. Phantoms
  7. NSA
  8. A Poison Tree
  9. The Fallen
  10. Passage to Avalon
  11. The Troubled Road


HCTF review of Space Blues.

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