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ANANDAMMIDE – EURA (2024) (Bandcamp) – in association with SULATRON RECORDS

Anandammide is a psychedelic folk project based in Paris led by Michele Moschini who sings, plays guitar, synth, organ and drums, although Lisa Isaksson sings vocals on ‘A Song of Greed’ early on the album, invoking the spirit of THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND and a more contemporary incarnation, TREMBLING BELLS, an important message delivered within its lyrics. There is sublime flute (Audrey Moreau), violin (Stella Ramsden) and cello (Sebastien Grignon) scattered throughout the album, and I really liked the high in the mix bass playing by Lelio Mulas on numbers like ‘Post Atomic Reverie’. (And indeed, the same applies to Pascal Vernin’s bass elsewhere on the album). Sometimes based on a relatively straightforward but, oh so beguiling, acoustic guitar pattern the emerging melody built around it, as the album progressed, I was reminded of neu-folk artists like MIDLAKE and IRON & WINE, especially in the vocals in the case of the former. The synth blends in superbly with the acoustic instruments.

There isn’t much in the way of soloing, it’s more about conjuring a magical atmosphere, but Lorenzo Castigliego does produce a neat little guitar break on ‘Eura’. We should never hold back from expressing anti-war sentiments in whatever shape of form especially in this day and age and ‘The Orange Flood’ delivers on that score. Michele wrote all the music and lyrics, quite an achievement, but make no mistake this is a well-integrated band project, pan-European in fact with participants from Italy, France, Sweden and England, a reminder of what we have lost with the folly of Brexit. Overall, a very accomplished and vital project available on limited edition vinyl and CD as well as digitally.

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