You don’t so much listen to the hushed noir folk of Marita Dyson and Stuart Flanagan as fall into step with it. These 10 songs present a poetic contemplation of history, geology, nature, mining and metals that is both bookish and sensual. “Deep leads are buried ancient river beds which sometimes contain alluvial gold,” writes Dyson. “[This album] is about buried and hidden things.”
Tasteful bossa nova touches and swirls of orchestral pop couch Dyson’s clear, close and reserved voice. The imagery is sometimes lush – flowers, gardens, purples and poisons – and sometimes harrowing, as on Radium Girls, about a group of female factory workers in the 1920s who ingested toxic quantities of radium while painting luminous dials for clocks.
Remembrance and respect emanates from these songs. Not only in the duo’s reanimation of human tragedy but in how tenderly they personify the natural environment too, as on the bygone Blue Lake. “Beneath bitumen, I heard they filled you in / Driven further away, concrete on clay.”