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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 226 - 02/04/15

Agnes Szelag
Catch The Moon
AS, self-released

'I wrote these songs while I was pregnant with my daughter Eulaila so that I could sing original lullabies to her.' (Agnes Szelag).

Agnes Szelag's album Catch The Moon was probably one of the last albums to be released last year as it was launched 25 December 2014. Catch The Moon (Lullabies by Agnes Szelag) was co-produced and mastered by The Norman Conquest. Szelag had contributed her singing skills to two tracks on Malfinia Ensemblo's (including Norman Conquest) Varsovia which we visited last moonth. So here we go - entering the bedsit night hymns of Szelag.

The Polish born Agnes Szelag has released a number of albums under her own name, or as Evon, Myrmyr (a collaboration with Marielle Jakobsons), Dokuro (a collaboration with The Norman Conquest), as well as many other projects, including a collaboration with cellist Helena Espvall (of psych-folk band Espers). On her artistic work, Szelag has said: 'In my work I explore the tension between the body and technology, nature and architecture, and the relationship between sound and light. These elements intersect in works that focus on dissecting form and creating transformation.' The ten tracks on this album is of the tenderest and most caring kind. As lullabies should be like. Or always do sound like or appear to be. To the core. Guiding you safely into sleep. They are dreamy, fluffy, vibrant and mild. With song titles like "Dream a Little Dream", "Catch The Moon", "Who's a Fluffy Bun?", "Fairies Fluttering", "Soaring and Flowing" and more. Ethereal and elegant music from the heart - from a loving mother. They are discretely and carefully sung, performed, arranged and instrumented. Some of the songs were recorded at John McEntire's (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, and The Red Krayola) SOMA Studio in Chicago, and all of the songs have this gentle, human touch. Soothing songs with a crisp and gracious sound. It is hard to pick but a few favourites here. All the songs should be listened to in a row (the album's running for some 28 minutes only). They are all sung and performed in an angel-like way. They can make you believe they can erase everything bad, and end all that is evil. Like with "Dream a Little Dream", "Hold You Close" and "Soaring and Flowing". There are some experimental songs as well with a bit more edge, such as "Catch The Moon", "Fairies Fluttering" and "Who's a Fluffy Bun?" However, they are far from being scary. This is indeed a most personal document.

If you are listening to these lullabies before you go to bed (or just before you are off to bed), you are guaranteed a good night's sleep. This is just what I need right now. Experimental, ambient, electroacoustic little songs before gliding into dreamland. But, mind you, some of the songs are perfect wake-up songs as well ("Flowers Bloom"). For now, take me to the other side ("Your Other World"). To Neverland, to see Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys and all the others. Sweet dreams of innocence.

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