Maybel – Gathering

Airy folk instrumentation, gentle harmonies and wistful atmospheres await you on Maybel’s Gathering.

Released on Idée Fixe records in late May, the Montreal group’s debut full-length intermingles rustic traditional folk sounds and stylings with some hints of ambient music. In the background of many of these songs, you often hear layers of spacey lap steel and synthesizer drones softly reverberating behind a web of intertwining acoustic stringed instruments. This particular aural combination gives the music a strong melancholic vibe, as if each track is a reflection on a deeply nostalgic memory.

A fine example of this is the somber “Bliss in Solitude.” The blending of forlorn vocals, subtle waves of synthesizer and sliding steel guitar makes the song an emotional core for the whole album.

Yet, other tracks lean more into the more rootsy end of Maybel’s sonic spectrum. Take the short a cappella piece, “Player,” for instance. This unaccompanied pastoral tune is not only a showcase for the group’s impressive vocal harmonies, but proof that folk practices of old are still alive and well here in the 2020s.

If you have a love for Mountain Man, Adrianne Lenker and the stable of artists in the recent ambient country boom, then you’ll easily become a devotee of Maybel’s music. Click here to get a copy of their debut record today.


Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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