Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Judee Sill - Abracadabra: The Asylum Years (2006 compi of 1971-73 releases)
Rather than recount the tragic lost-soul story of Judee Sill's life (plagued by addiction which would claim her life at 35), I prefer to just focus on how good her music was. Both of these albums showcase just how unique her synthesis was of folk, blues and a dash of country with more baroque and hymnal influences from her upbringing singing in church. Her voice carried both a homely twang and a gossamer beauty - especially when recorded in multiple overdubs on several songs.
Both albums stay in understated ballad mode for the most part, but Sill could turn up the energy too on songs like Jesus Was A Crossmaker (her best-known song, covered by The Hollies) and Soldier of The Heart from the second album, Heart Food. Heart Food for me has an ever-so-slight edge over the self-titled debut, with slightly more adventurous arrangements (this time all handled by Sill herself), indeed much more adventurous on The Donor, seven minutes of spine-tingling overdubbed chorale. Also on Heart Food is The Kiss, simply one of the greatest love songs ever written.
Holy breath touching me, like a wind song...
....sweet communion of a kiss