There is something brewing within the neofolk style. Generally speaking, neofolk has always had a unique approach to songwriting and chord progression. Defining bands such as Death in June, Current 93 and lesser known acts (some of whom have incorporated martial music) have established that.
But there’s something else going on. While it’s a bit difficult at this time to pin-point it, I believe it’s the incorporation of more geographically traditional music specifically from the artists’ heritage. In other words, it’s coming out of the pubs and firesides yet still maintaining the integrity of the underground today.
This brings us to the new EP from Urze de Lume entitled Vozes na Neblina. Here we have two interlude tracks containing spoken word and two instrumental tracks.
According to the band, “This EP, talks about the autumn feel, not only about the season, but also what it represents in a life of a person, or in the history of a people… Something like a farewell for cold future, where uncertain, and bitterness of nature takes place.
We also tried to capture the mystic aura of the autumn in the northwest of Portugal, a region were time stands still, and the old ways are still very present, however, due to the modern way of life, it is getting forgotten and abandoned… It pays homage to those who transmitted their knowledge and made us what we still are…”
The music is acoustic and based on folk guitar and a viola campanica (a traditional guitar from Portugal) along with minimal percussion. The instrumentals allow for the Portuguese culture and and inspiration to speak for themselves without the intrusion of English lyrics. It’s most effective in its hope to present an aura of nostalgia and autumnal reflection. So, not only is the music a reflection of the culture, the instruments used are themselves traditional.
If what Urze de Lume is presenting here is a sign of things to come; that is, incorporating the artist heritage and/or culture into neofolk music then this change will without question be welcome. Sure some artists still prefer to honor the idea of a unified Europe through neofolk, martial music. That has its own place. But hopefully this welcome change with specific cultural/heritage incorporation will continue for as long as possible.
The regular edition of the ep is limited to 300 hand-numbered copies. There is also a “Collector’s Edition” digifile CD EP in a wood slice limited to 50 copies. The EP is also available as a digital download file via bandcamp.