14/8/15 – These Trails – 1973

Album Of The Day

These Trails Sinergia 1973Hawaii, 1973 and a wonderful duo was making beautiful music. Margaret Morgan sang and harmonized, Patrick Cocket played the guitar and also sang, living together seemingly amidst the magic of a summer breeze beneath the dreamy fronds of the palm trees. They never played any gigs and only recorded one album, pressed privately in a very limited edition.

They went into the studio augmenting their line-up with another singer-guitarist Carlos Pardeiro and studio engineer Dave Choy who owned what was probably the only Arp synth on the island at the time. Together they made one of the most gorgeous Psych-Folk albums I have ever heard. Lovely guitar and dulcimer explorations intertwining with each other or beneath Margaret Morgan’s sweet controlled vibrato, heavenly harmonizing with Cockett. Pardeiro sang and wrote El Rey Pescador, but it seems that the record is mainly penned by Morgan, although Hello Lou and the song about Rusty’s House features Cockett singing, Morgan shadowing his vocal like a benign angel.

Psyche 1 & Share Your Water is outstanding amongst a record of outstanding tracks – it’s the Cocteau Twins backed by an acoustic Gentle Giant. Rapt Attention is Joni Mitchell channelling Kate Bush but always with that bucolic aspect that has the vicar chasing butterflies in sleepy hamlets. Waipoo (Hawaiian for who know’s what?) blends the electronic and acoustic together in such a way that old oak doors glow.

Dave Choy’s engineering skills and that Arp synthesizer add an odd slant to the record, at times it sounds like The Incredible String Band on Mars. The album would have been a total gem without it, with it, doors into other worlds are opened, pastoral scenes suddenly become glistening silver cities on floating meadows over obsidian oceans. Dancing nymphs become turquoise slow-motion parades of imaginary beasts like the Alebrijes of Oaxaca.

The final track on the album, Garden Botanum sums up the record perfectly – a carousel of sparkling trills and pointed stars sprinkled on the soil of the land turning every tree into an abundant harvest, every flower into perfumes transported on the clouds from Arabia, silks and satins whispering in the wind, patterned damask rising on the warm air and resting on the laps of the Queens of Europe.

This record is a wonderful discovery and I would like to thank my band mates in Anekdoten for regularly turning me on to such incredible music.

 

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