Frostlake – “White Moon, Black Moon” (Discus Music 2015, CD)

Frostlake is singer and multi-instrumentalist Jan Todd, who is also part of Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere whose outstanding 02 set I reviewed earlier this year. Frostlake plays electric and acoustic guitars, viola, synth, electric piano and electronics, with assistance from other musicians on bass, flute, synth, piano, clarinet, glockenspiel, drums and various forms of percussion.

The dozen songs on White Moon, Black Moon are singer-songwriter Folk-Prog at their core, through with a beautifully dreamy Psychedelic and Space-Ambient quality. Throughout the set I was impressed with the way ambience, effects and field recordings are deployed, being a powerful presence or embellishment, but always contributing to the larger picture that is being painted. I like the spacey atmospherics and effects, ambient bass and Celtic quality on No Looking Back. Similarly, the bass clarinet adds a dreamy ambient flavor to Night Watch. The accordion does the same for Quiet Storm. And ditto for the E-bow on the title track, plus slide guitar which injects a spaced out Dave Gilmour feel. Songs like Snowlight, that seem instrumentally sparse, actually speak volumes with their spectral moodiness and cautious but effective use of percussive effects and melodic ambience. Falling Through Shadows has a dreamily eerie Psychedelic orchestral Folk flavor that I enjoyed. I like the drifting, cosmic jazzy feel of Connection. Dark Winds and Endless Rain struck me as Space-Ambient takes on the Trespass era Genesis sound. And Thin Red Line is similar but with the bonus of some of the most exquisite compositional/instrumental arrangements of the set.

Frostlake’s vocals are beautiful and ideal for the supporting music, and her lyrics are variously introspective, poetic, and fairy tale narrative. If your tastes cover the gamut, and in this case convergence, of Folk-Prog-Psych-Space/Ambient, then you’ll find much to enjoy and discover over repeated listens to White Moon, Black Moon.

For more information visit the Discus Music web site at:
White Moon, Black Moon is also available through Amazon UK

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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