Crow Autumn 2 is the follow up to, um what was it called, oh yes, Crow Autumn 1, which in turn was a continuation down the roads travelled in Box Of Birch. This means (even) more dark, dense layers of bowing and scraping, with elegiac melodies scrambling to climb free of the undergrowth into a forest air sodden with music and emotion. From the start of first track "Mountain Ash" to the end of last track “Beneath” a piano tolls remorselessly, an accordion wheezes in the distance, and the violin mulls over these repetitive themes, these inescapable and haunting fragmented memories, at times almost completely scratched out by wailing drones and quivering tremolo. The piece ebbs and flows slowly, finally trickling its way to an eventual release into silence. The magnificently composed Crow Autumn 2 will play on in your head long after it has stopped though.
While the violin leads in A Broken Consort, it supports in Skelton’s Carousell work. That isn’t the only difference; this is far sparser, with the melodies given more space and time to flower (unlike in the oppressive darkness of Crow Autumn 2), and the tracks disentangle themselves much more readily into individual pieces. "Artery"opens with a church bell, but it feels less ominous than the tolling of Crow Autumn 2; almost like a fresh spring countryside morning. The prominent guitar playing is loose and improvisational, feeling its way delicately through this new, better-lit world, stumbling upon melodic paths as it goes. At times it is joined by a dreamy, hazy violin; at times it sings out across the plains almost unaccompanied. A girl giggles; and for the first time I feel I have intruded on a private picnic, or even a reminiscence on a private picnic. That this is a piece born of a burning love feels confirmed by the soft, beautiful piano-led piece which follows, “And The Orchard”, the piano lingering on into the next track to dance slowly with the violin. This was just setting me up for “Owl Lanterns”, where familiar sounding melodies are sweetly circled by sweet strings and deftly-picked guitar; the first time I heard this reduced me to tears. This is so different to Crow Autumn 2, and in its own softly-spoken way, even more powerful.
Review taken from Mapsadaisical