On 1st December 2017, British folk's best-kept secret - Izzy's Daughter - returns with new album 'Luna'. The solo music project of visual artist Michelle Nichols, 'Luna' showcases a more assured, mature take on the dark, ethereal folk heard on her 2014 debut 'Autumn Flowers', this time flushed out with glacial strings, agile bass and an increased focus on piano - all in service of Nichols' striking, hypnotic voice, which sits somewhere between Tori Amos, Loreena McKennitt and the wordless incantations of Lisa Gerrard.
'Luna' follows a recent four-track session for BBC Introducing in Suffolk, and a successful three years that saw Izzy's Daughter perform all over the country in support of her debut, including a triumphant set at Latitude Festival 2015, and receive radio airplay across BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Introducing.
Opening with the slow-burning drama of Are You There and Wandering Star, Nichols examines the cracks left by emotional and physical distance, as well as the battle to understand ourselves. After gently chastising a short-sighted lover on Wilder Than You, impeccable harmonies anchor the title track as Nichols locks into a spectral dance with herself. Echoes then heralds the album’s peak with a welcome surge of energy, its powerful bass groove and splintered violins carrying over into the anguished folk-rock of Lullaby, and finally dissipating into the darkness once more with Dawn’s vivid drones.
Against a backdrop thick with references to natural phenomena, Nichols’ nocturnal transmissions unfold with a stately ritualism and stirring vocal delivery. Fans of Marissa Nadler, Agnes Obel and Ane Brun will find much to love here. This is a swooning, cinematic take on the British folk/songwriter tradition, delivered in shades of monochrome and pastel under a veil of mist.
Words by Javier Wallis