Helena Espyall & Masaki Batoh Helena Espyall & Masaki Batoh

Respected experimental music figures, Sweden-born Helena Espvall and Japan’s Maskai Bathoh join together and reinterpret traditional folk songs in the most peculiar and interesting ways. Renowned as a cellist and collaborator in Espers and Damon and Naomi, Espvall is a multi-instrumentalist who first conceived of an improvisational record with Batoh. Best known for his work in Ghost and his own role with Damon and Naomi, Batoh suggested that playing songs together might make for a better idea. So they compromised. Drawing from her childhood memories, Espvall conjured six Swedish folk songs to make up the base of this magnetic collection of string-based arrangements. Utilising acoustic guitars, banjo, cello, hurdy-gurdy, harp, Tibetan bells, timpani and marimba, among many other instruments, the music is quite gentle, working within its elaborate scale in a minor way. From the lullaby of "Beneath Halo” to a take on Son House’s "Death Letter,” the dreaminess Espvall and Batoh conjure is enchanting. (Drag City)