Review | Songlines

Out of the Ashes

Rating: ★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details


Julie Abbé


Julie Abbé


Folk, blues, swing, world music and jazz combine to weave their trade winds across UK-based French singer Julie Abbé’s fine second album. It’s eclectic, beautifully performed, with a fine-sounding band that includes guitar, double bass, sax, clarinet and piano, as well as multi-instrumentalist Paul Johnson delivering the exquisite tones of the bansuri flute, the Catalan gralla, Balkan kaval flute, and duduk. He’s prominent on the stand-out ‘Mélusine’ (a folkloric Lamia/mermaid figure), featuring the tones and drones of gralla, kaval and bansuri alongside Sam Quintana’s double bass. Abbé’s voice is a smoky delight, singing in French and English, and as well as the ‘Mélusine’, we encounter ‘Medusa’, wreathed in the soft airs of Johnson’s bansuri and featuring Ewan Bleach’s clarinet combined with James Grunwell’s guitar – a perfect retinue for Abbé’s voice of supplication, extended to a Medusa recast as a seductive rather than deadly feminine force, and as a spirit of renewal more than the bringer of death. The slow, oozy textures of ‘Hushing the Blues Away’ feels like a warm sound bath, the band of guitar, drums, clarinet and double bass coalescing into one sound, leaning close to your ear. Makes you want to lean in closer.

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