Sangre De Muerdago is a Spanish band that have a number of quality releases under their belt. Working in the world of folk music, they’ve traversed different styles during their career. Some earlier releases bring neofolk acts like Forseti and Of the Wand and the Moon to mind. On this EP, entitled Os Segredos da Raposa Vermella, the style is far more traditional. Pure, if you will.
Utilizing a number of traditional folk instruments, the recording is supposedly based on songs collected in a little book with “a cover of moss and paper of birch bark” by “a little red fox that wandered through the woods of the Iberian northwest”. The music draws heavily on the traditional folk music of Galicia and Bretagne as well as on the work of Galician mega-folkband Milladoiro, but it is also enriched by the band’s own compositions. Sometimes there are clear parallels to Scandinavian folk music to be heard – one track is even called “Ursusson’s Polska”, Polska being a traditional designation for a certain type of folk songs and dances from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. To speak of “pan-European” folk music might be a little strong, but I am convinced that this music, despite or perhaps because of its regional starting point, will speak to many people in Europe (and perhaps beyond).
There is a certain melancholia to be found here, but also joy and Dionysian passion. The EP can be listened to for relaxation, for inspiration or for pure enjoyment. While I have not spent as much time with any previous release of Sangre De Muerdago, I think perhaps also more established fans will agree that this is among their finest work. Each of the four tracks are excellent, but an immediate personal favorite would have to be the melancholic yet iron-willed “Agullas de Agarimo”.
Segredos da Raposa Vermella is still available on CDs with covers handcrafted by the band, and two vinyl versions (one black and one green) can be pre-ordered from Neuropa.