Alone In The Dark Wood

Alone in the Dark Wood is the fifth full-length release from West Philly-based solo artist TAra Burke aka Fursaxa who boasts a fan base with the likes of Bardo Pond, Acid Mothers Temple and Thurston Moore who released a record by her on his Ecstatic Peace! imprint. A previous member of the band UN, Burke is now one of the epicentres and key collaborators of the North American free-folk movement, along with such luminaries as Jack Rose, Charalambides, Ben Chasny and the Jewelled Antler Collective. With her hypnotic, echo-y churchbell chanting, Burke possesses a power-filled vocal sound that harkens back not only to those other polar queens of disaffected freakout psychedelia Nico and Barbara Manning, but she is also akin to and inspired by Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th-century Benedictine mystical abbess. With the low drone of chord organ and Farfisa, detuned ringing guitar, and endlessly looped, multiply-tracked vocals applied with heaps of delay, Fursaxa sounds like a tripped-out medievalist perched upon a poppy petal. Burke has an alchemical knack for turning folk into lo-fi, and then into sheer psych and back again, but more importantly, her music is pure humming narcosis.