RAPUNZEL AND SEDAYNE
Riverdance by Rapunzel and Sedayne from the album Songs From The Barley Temple (Folk Police Recordings 2011)
Housecarpenter/I Curse the Day by Rapunzel and Sedayne from the album Songs From The Barley Temple (Folk Police Recordings 2011)
Diver Boy by Rapunzel and Sedayne. An alternative version of this song appears on Songs From the Barley Temple.
Listen to Harp Song of the Dane Women by Rapunzel and Sedayne. An alternative version of this song appears on The Oak, Ash & Thorn Project.
"So much more than just keepers of the flame, Rapunzel & Sedayne's 'Songs From The Barley Temple' is living and breathing folk art." (Spiral Earth)
Based in Fleetwood, Lancashire, husband and wife duo Rapunzel & Sedayne, aka Rachel McCarron and Sean Breadin, met through music, and found themselves singing together before they’d actually spoken to each other.
They have since contributed to a number of critically acclaimed CDs, including Angel High Wires (with Julie Tippetts), and as Venereum Arvum have contributed tracks to Infernal Proteus and John Barleycorn Reborn. Rapunzel has been singing all her life, with passions encompassing folk, country and classical. A gifted instrumentalist, she is just as likely to be found singing the ballad of Tam Lin as she is her own compositions or the songs of Laura Nyro. Sedayne is a seasoned singer of traditional song and balladry, a storyteller par excellence who specialises in an variety of ancient and traditional instruments and is an exponent of the lost art of modal improvisation. His solo work has been featured on Resonance FM and BBC Radio 3. They are regular performers the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering, the Fylde Festival, and appear at singarounds and folk clubs throughout the north of England.
“We're always rooting around,” Sedayne explains, “and exploring the tangled roots of the old songs and finding something still very potent and exciting. What we do is of the present, but informed by the continuity of the past. The album is folk music as folk art; it has a homespun simplicity reflecting what we feel is the essence of the tradition. On one hand it’s chunky, homemade, rough and ready, but the essence of the thing is won through long hours of dedication to our craft.”
He adds, “We record everything live, in real time which we hope brings an improvised immediacy to an idiom which is too often over-produced and over-rehearsed. We love the spontaneity of sessions and singarounds. With us, nothing ever comes out the same way twice. This is something we find when listening to the old traditional singers, whose approach was similarly spontaneous. And the music is very much part of our domestic routine: music is as much part of our lives as baking bread - and just as traditional!”
Playlisted by fRoots, who placed it at number 14 in their 2011 Critics Poll, Songs From The Barley Temple is the current album. This is an album of mainly traditional songs and ballads along with a handful of Rapunzel & Sedayne originals. The album features stripped down, raw instrumentation and almost telepathic vocal interplay. All the songs are recorded live in the studio with only the merest hint of spectral leakage added after the event. Many of the songs featured – including Handsome Molly, Silver Dagger and Diver Boy - are sourced from the Max Hunter Collection – an incredible archive of field recordings made by an American travelling salesman in the 1950s and 60s. Blackwaterside, on the other hand, pays homage to Rapunzel’s love of the singing of Sandy Denny. Rapunzel and Sedayne provide five originals, including the beautiful lament Stranded and a setting of Bonnie Parker’s poem, Outlaws.
On this album, Sedayne plays kemence, violin, crwth, flute & kaossilator. Rachel contributes 5-string banjo, lap-top harmonium, frame-drum and drones. Although deeply steeped in the traditional music of the English speaking world and the revival sounds of Peter Bellamy, Shirley Collins and Mr Fox, the careful listener may identify a variety influences from Dr Strangely Strange to Joy Division to early music to Judee Sill.
Songs From the Barley Temple is available from the Folk Police web store here.
Also available from the Folk Police Download Store, Venereum Arvum’s A Pentacle of Pips. Originally recorded in late 2009 as a limited edition CDr for the superbly eclectic Reverb Worship micro-label, this is new music based on traditional themes, brimming with found sounds, improvisation, and spectral leakage.
You can read an extensive interview with Rapunzel & Sedayne at Amelia's Magazine
WHAT THE PRESS ARE SAYING:
"One of the best, most intriguing, simultaneously fascinating and entertaining debuts out of the UK folk scene in a long time." fRoots
"Modal, improvisational techniques, Bredin’s exotic stringed instruments, and McCarron’s pure and unaffected vocal revivify an erudite selection of traditional British songs.... The ideal October album." Stewart Lee, The Times
"There are some moments of cold beauty on the album. The coda to "House Carpenter & I Curse the Day" is sublime while "Robin Sick and Weary" recalls the groundbreaking sound of Fairport Convention’s 'A Sailor’s Life'. In fact whether it’s the simple banjo and fiddle of "Black Water Side" or the layers of "The Owld Grye Song" all of the songs on the album are intriguing and invite repeated listening." 8/10, Americana UK
"Songs from the Barley Temple has an ethereal and haunting tone, medieval in spirit, yet sounding curiously contemporary at the same time. The songs feature skillful and powerful vocal harmonies with sparse instrumental accompaniments that create an occasionally disconcerting yet compelling landscape... An album of rare quality." Bright Young Folk
"Mesmerising... The duo take traditional songs and let them speak for themselves, creating an album that is respectful of its roots – but not in thrall to them." 5/5, Folk Radio UK
"There should be more collections like this to expose the less worthy pretenders and champion this genre’s true latter day proponents." 4/5, Manchester Music
"Sounding as though they might well have seeped from a porous time portal between this world and somewhere vaguely medieval, Rapunzel & Sedayne keep things beautifully uncluttered in this collection of songs that traverse ancient and modern worlds with ease and aplomb.... The sureness of their craft and the simplicity with which it is presented is utterly compelling." Sid Smith's Postcards From the Yellow Room
"The inspiring lilt of the lyrics, seamless symbiosis between their voices and the sensuous opulence of the music reflects the energy of two souls in a live environment. This album is awe inspiring." Folkwords
"New life is breathed into ancient verse once more. So much more than just keepers of the flame, Rapunzel & Sedayne's 'Songs From The Barley temple' is living and breathing folk art." Spiral Earth
"Vocally, Rapunzel could hold her own against any of the folk-rock pantheon." 4/5, R2 Magazine
"Rapunzel & Sedayne's album is a glorious mix of ancient and modern" FATEA Magazine