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Editors’ Notes

Something of a latter day English-folk supergroup, Trembling Bells are comprised of musicians Alex Neilson (Current 93), Simon Shaw (Lucky Luke), and Lavinia Blackwell among others. The swooning female vocal harmonies, eclectic instrumentation and studied Renaissance Faire atmosphere of the group’s debut Carbeth are all powerfully reminiscent of the golden age of the English folk revival. The album’s crisp, live to the mixing desk sound recalls the masterfully spare productions of Joe Boyd, the expert soundman responsible for album’s by Nick Drake, Shirley Collins, The Incredible String Band and others. Despite the significant and obvious debt that Carbeth owes these folk touchstones, the album works most convincingly when the members of Trembling Bells break away from the influence of their predecessors, as on the striking “The Head Is The House of Your Tongue,” a song whose blend of eerie theremin-like tones and minimalist structure mark it as a truly exceptional moment on this always accomplished outing.


Formed: 2008 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Glasgow's eclectic Trembling Bells were founded in early 2008 by drummer Alex Neilson, an improviser who has played with Jandek, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Current 93, among others. Neilson formed the group in order to explore more structured, song-based music, and recruited vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Lavinia Blackwall (who worked with Neilson in the group Directing Hand), bassist/vocalist Simon Shaw (also of Lucky Luke), and guitarist/harmonica player Ben Reynolds (who played with Neilson in Motor...
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Carbeth, Trembling Bells
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