Tuesday 27 February 2024

North Star (Pendragon, 2023)

Pendragon's EPs are always worth a keen listening and this "North Star" is no exception. I'll focus my attention on the title track, a suite divided into three movements (I. A Boy And His Dog, II. As Dead As A Dodo and III. Phoenician Skies), whose atmospheric, pastoral and folk-oriented sounds are a coherent follow-up to the band's 2021 full length album "Love Over Fear". Past the late 2000s and  early 2010s rougher era, Pendragon are back to their signature gorgeous melodic prog. 

...And what a beautiful cover art by Liz Saddington!

I like that, and I like this suite, where dreamy themes, instrumental sketches ans a perfect blend of electric and acoustic instruments (including a guest violin provided byJohanna Stroud) build up 18 minutes of bucolic and varied music. Nick Barrett is obviously in the foreground not only with the beautiful electric guitar final solo, but also with a wide choice of acoustic guitars and his well known, distinctive voice. The whole track is permeated by the almost spiritual colour palette of the Cornish country, something... out of this world!