Emerging from the streets of Dublin, Ireland and arising from the underground folk scene in their home town at the beginning of the ‘70s, this spectacular, lost classic, and mesmerized music from Mellow Candle who are one of the unsung heroes from the Female Prog Folk bands to come out of that era as the ‘60s were drawing to an end. The power of two female vocals and three male musicians playing their hearts out to their only debut album from the Deram label released in 1972, it seems to fit perfectly as they sing Folk traditions and dreaming about a universal landscape of a magical world of mesmerized beauty.
Swaddling Songs is a combination of the pounding rhythms like The Poet and the Witch, Dan The Wing, and the finale instrumental vocalized composition of the monk na-na and do-do-do harmonization’s on Boulders on my Grave. Elsewhere, there is also a classical lukewarm beauty on the arrangements with; Messenger Birds, the baroque 15th century rocker introduction which deals with the Snowy Lady and her silvered fate on Heaven Heath. Most of the songs they did on here are very Fairport Convention meets Renaissance meets Trader Horne as if they mated together and wrote some fairy tale-like songs that could really get you jumping to when you hear these numbers while closing your eyes and imagining they right in front of you performing for your family and their kids when they sing. Meanwhile, some of the compositions have the mixtures of Sandy Denny quality that are Balladry-like and very John Martynish also.
The piano crisp featuring the vocal arrangements of Allison Williams on the narrative musical beat of Messenger Birds (which tells the story of a mother and a child riding with the seagulls and take them to a better land where they won’t have to hear the bitterness of war or hear his tears crying to move away to a new dimension where they will live in peace and be happy in a safe location) while the tempo becomes a pulse of a mensural level on Buy or Beware (which deals with on how we spend our money and how the warnings might become aware of what we lose all of our cash over food, drinks, or your crazy faces that you make) while the groove becomes more of a tango folk rock dancing composition between Allison and Clodagh Simonds on the medieval 20th century of the 1920’s that would have been a perfect number for Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and the dreams we dream about when we were kids about unicorns and the crown of thorns with Vile Excesses.
Lonely Man is almost a Richard and Linda Thompson composition with its heavy blues rock feel featuring some great guitar solos done by David Williams who takes over throughout the number while the drums are keeping the tempo going which are done by William A. Murray and bassist Frank Boylan is doing some magnificent bass lines that fit the girls vocal arrangements as they pummel like a band that won’t stop the folk train going. It’s hard to imagine on why Mellow Candle didn’t make it in the big time and fade away like a candle that is blown out, but the true force of Swaddling Songs is doesn’t lack anymanifestation and no bad song throughout the entire album, but all in all, its one of the most memorable albums that has been released.
And 37 years later, its never going to die and the vocals of Allison Williams and Clodagh Simonds who were almost like Sisters between the two of them when they sing, their voices still blow you away and captivate musicians worldwide in the folk and experimental universe.