Perhaps one of Britain’s best kept folk music secrets, Kim Thompsett has announced her second album ‘The Hollows’, which will be released on CD, vinyl and digitally. Four years in the making, this LP explores themes that are rooted in nature, mysticism and the arcane.
Ahead of that, Thompsett presents the single ‘Woebetide Hill’. This melancholic folk track is a captivating work with a vintage sound that, combined with Kim’s voice, sends the listener on a trip to yesteryear.
“Woebetide Hill tells the tale of a meeting of initiates on a well-guarded moonlit hill, where the circle is drawn and a dance with a cloven-footed entity ensues,” says Kim Thompsett.
“I was just noodling by an open fire in a pottery workshop where I used to hang out, with an autumnal wind wuthering around, and it just came together. The concept of Woebetide Hill is that it is not a place not for the faint-hearted to attempt to climb. Maybe it represented a challenge presented and a ‘girding of the loins’ or determination to overcome it.”
Credit for recording, mixing, mastering and production of this album goes to Harvey Summers at Broadoak Studios in Bexhill, East Sussex, who is well known for his work with Sir Paul McCartney, Daniel Lanois, Moby, Steeleye Span, Pentangle, Ellie Ford, Danny Thompson (Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Nick Drake, Pentangle), Hossam Ramzy (Peter Gabriel, Led Zeppelin), Cutting Crew and Divine Comedy, among others.
‘The Hollows’ is the long-awaited follow-up to ‘Songs from the Uglee Meadow’, her debut album, released in 2008. Thompsett earlier released the single ‘Snowbound’, which also appears on the new album.
Upholding the momentum gained with her debut offering, ‘The Hollows’ evokes an archaic atmosphere and nuances of Celtic and medieval times. At the same time, it branches out into a more experimental and eclectic idiom with a more diverse range of instrumentation and more sophisticated production.
Songs celebrating ancient connections with forest, with earth, with sky and with water – the shedding of ego and an immersion in the universe. The music itself is most reminiscent of the English folk of the ’70’s with a few other genres for good measure.
“I wanted to make an album that was primarily something I would enjoy listening to. If other people like it too, that’s great. Having come to fruition some ten years after the debut album, I wanted to ensure it was a natural progression from the previous work and that the songs were manifested in the fully-developed compositions that only the songwriter can hear during the creative process,” says Thompsett.
“I approached Harvey Summers, who conveniently runs a studio near me, and he was ultimately empathetic with the kind of music I wished to create. He ‘got it’ immediately and after a very brief introduction we started work. Harvey’s sensitivity to the kind of soundscape I wished to create has been present throughout our sessions making decisions on arrangements, instrumentation and feel of the album very easy to conclude.”
Kim Thompsett has been writing songs and performing, both solo and with various bands, for around 20 years. Her music has attracted a niche following of primarily pagan and traditional folk music fans with a penchant for nature and literary references.
Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath and Paul Giovanni (The Wicker Man soundtrack) number among her musical influences, as do Circulus, Gong, Pamela Wyn Shannon, Beck Sian, Hexvessel, Cara Dillon, The Strawbs, Fairport Convention, Les Derniers Trouveres, Omnia, Priscilla Hernandez, Pentangle and Steeleye Span.
As of April 30, the ‘Woebetide Hill’ single will be available across online stores like iTunes and streaming platforms such as Spotify. ‘The Hollows’ album will be released via Meniscus Hump Records on May 31, but can already be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.
Kim Thompsett – guitar, vocals
Lee Igglesden – guitar, bass, djembe
Garry Blakeley – violin
Will Summers – flute
Harvey Summers – synth, effects
Recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by Harvey Summers at Broadoak Studios in Bexhill, East Sussex
Artwork by Natalia Drepina
1 Moonchild’s Lullaby
3 Soul Song
4 Woebetide Hill
5 Child of the Breeze
6 Strange Garden
8 Hollow Hill
9 Hollow Tree
10 Say it with Flowers
11 Woebetide Hill (single)
Woebetide Hill (single) https://soundcloud.com/
Album pre-order https://kimthompsett.bandcamp.
Snowbound video https://youtu.be/
Lord and Ladies (2010) https://youtu.be/Q8eLuXY-Ic8
All photos by Bryony Whistlecraft, except Kim with guitar photo by Ben Sharp