Hidden within the light, there’s darkness. This applies to music as well – an artist is capable of turning the most upbeat, cheerful and inspiring genre out there and spin it into something much darker, and even macabre. But this takes some skills, as if done wrong it may be in danger of becoming a parody, or even worse.
Deathfolk Magic by Bye Bye Banshee explores the darkest corners of a genre that in and of itself is a pretty mellow and somewhat dramatic musical style as its case of Folk and Roots music as a whole, though in the past few decades courtesy of the likes of The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons, its been straying away from the poetic approach of Dylan for something more joyful.
“If I Die In My Dreams” kicks off the record as you might already expect. Playing with the themes of death and fear, instead of going for a, say, ironic twist of the subject a la “Pumped Up Kicks,” Jezebel Jones embraces the depression, with a twist. The song is minimalistic in its approach, yet it never gets boring. “Bye Bye Banshee” leaves the Doom Metal aside and goes for a much haunting folky approach as the strings play a major role, blending with the ethereal vocals by Jones.
With no need of over-stretching her welcome, especially considering that by the third track the album started to feel a bit stale and consistent. The decision of not moving forward and wrap up with a twist in the form of “Skull Rattles” was the best choice and it takes down any of the negatives.
Criteria - 85%
In the end, Deathfolk Magic by Bye Bye Banshee builds on its Avant-Garde approach to classic and Folk music to create a somewhat existential, dark tale about the end. It always remains in a solemn spectrum without borderline into satire, bringing some genuine discussions to topics that generally we are afraid to discuss. It may leave you in an odd place by the end, but it worth it.