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Ciccada: Harvest

With the best will in the world, it’s virtually impossible keeping up with the avalanche of music releases each year treats us to and as I experience Harvest by Greek outfit Ciccada for the first time in early 2022, so I immediately hear why I’ve seen it feature in ‘best of’ lists from many SoT viewers over on our YouTube channel. This is excellent, European folk tinged progressive rock and no mistake, from the band consisting of Dimi Spela and Evangelia Kozoni on vocals, Yorgos Mouhos (guitars and vocals), Nicolas Nikolopoulos (flute, clarinet, sax, recorder, piano, electric piano, organ, Mellotron, synthesisers, harpsichord, Clavinet, glockenspiel, backing vocals and it would appear anything you care throw their way!), Marietta Tsakmakli (sax and backing vocals), Aggelos Malisovas (fretted and fretless bass) and Yiannis Iliakis (drums, percussion and backing vocals). And this large collective ease us into proceedings with the multi-layered vocals, flute and saxophone atmospheres of “Eniania (Keepers Of The Midnight Harvest)”. It’s really quite the beautiful introduction - poised, controlled and yet multifaceted as well as being full of well crafted twists and turns.

“Open Wings” and its slightly medieval flair adds a more overtly folk feel in the form that Jethro Tull have previously made their own and if the opening cut is overtly and gloriously European, so its follow up adds an unexpected Englishness, but without losing its own intrinsic flavour. The vocals from Kozoni provide another welcome layer but then the arrangement really is quite wonderful, with every aspect feeling utterly natural. It’s a feature throughout, each of the six songs given real room to breathe as they create warm, welcoming but thoroughly intriguing atmospheres. With the vocals often flitting between the three main singers - who compliment each other perfectly - as they each move in and out of the spotlight, or indeed combine as one - it’s difficult not to simply get lost in the swirl and swoop of “The Old Man And The Butterfly”, where the guitar and key work are equally incredible, or indeed the playful folk/jazz of “Who’s To Decide”, which also shows a slightly darker side.

There really isn’t a weak moment on Harvest, a collection of songs where you reap what Ciccada have sown as it rewards you again and again. With only three albums released across eleven years, this Greek outfit may not be prolific, but with offerings as good as this, it would appear that they are well worth the wait.

Track Listing
1. Eniania (Keepers of the Midnight Harvest)

2. Open Wings

3. The Old Man and the Butterfly

4. No Man's Land 

5. Who's to Decide? 

6. Queen of Wishes

Added: January 15th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Ciccada on bandcamp
Hits: 624
Language: english

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