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Reviews
Harvest Rain - Evening and Devotion EP
Friday, September 10 2004 @ 02:13 PM PDT
Contributed by: Malahki Thorn

Evening and Devotion EP

Artist: Harvest Rain United States

Title: Evening and Devotion EP

Label: OPN Records France

Genre: Neofolk / Dark Rock

Harvest Rain has the distinct honor of being accorded the title of one of North Americans only active neofolk bands. Given that most neofolk acts emerge from across the Atlantic Ocean in Germany and abroad it is a real treat for Americans to be able to celebrate one of our own. Harvest Rain has been recording music and releasing tapes and CD-R's since 1995. The band heralds from the South Carolina in the southern United States and is comprised of two brothers Jason and Jamey Thompkins. Jason and Jamey work in unison with various other artists to create the music of Harvest Rain while remaining the center of the band. The Thompkins brothers where born and raised in South Carolina and it is this geographical location with its own unique customs and characteristics which have inspired Harvest Rain's own unique American neofolk.

Harvest Rain is unique within the neofolk genre as they strive to create neofolk branded in part by their own southern American experience. Harvest Rain creates music inspired by autumn, wind, rain, yard fires, corn fields, falling leaves, and the Carolina swamps. These influences and the land that births them have gifted the band with a very unique sound that should resonate especially well with those North Americans amongst us who have relied upon Europe for so long to supply us with our neofolk fix.

Harvest Rain in conjunction with their new and official French label OPN Records have made two Harvest Rain releases now officially available. These include the first official full length CD - A Frost Comes with the Wind and their limited edition 7' vinyl EP titled Evening and Devotion.

Heathen Harvest has been granted the pleasure of reviewing the Harvest Rain limited edition 7' vinyl EP titled Evening and Devotion. Evening and Devotion contains four songs of rich neofolk compositions which whisper with references to ghosts, dawn, rain clouds, and nature inspired spirituality. The album is compiled of previously released songs like A song for Morning and Evening and Devotion as well as never before published songs such as Preservation by Ice and Rain Cloud with a Name. The evening and Devotion EP is strictly limited to only 300 pressings and OPN has the last ones ready to sell so act fast.

Preservation by Ice begins the Harvest Rain Evening and Devotion EP. Preservation by Ice is the perfect title for this song as its melancholy lyrics and subdued music exudes the sense of a slowed pulse, still beating, but barely. Preservation by Ice casts a spell over the listener entwining them in strumming electric guitars, soft drums and cymbals and dreamy keyboards that lazily spread over the music like fog rolling through lonely valleys. The hypnotic spell will have you well preserved in its chilly grip.

The second song on the EP is titled Song for Morning. Song for Morning is livelier in mood and fitfully suited to the theme of the rising dawn. Jason and Jamey keep the icy flow going with deeper drums, clearer guitars and less murky music overall. The lyrics reflect themes of nature and mystery tinged with ghostly apparitions. Song for Morning retains the brother's unique take on neofolk remaining dreamy, open, and vague. Rain Cloud with a Name is the third song on the EP and once again the mood is slowed and reduced to very minimal elements. Electronic Synthesizers and a simple drum set create a haunting musical atmosphere filled with drizzle, cold breezes, and hints of winter. The brothers sing a lovely song about a “Rain Cloud with a Name.” The song echoes sensitivity and a heart that is open to nature and its wonder and mystery without being too overt. The Thompkins brothers have successfully created their own unique southern American approach to neofolk. Creating misty worlds filled with endless grey days and the whispering of autumn leaves.

The last song on the EP is Evening and Devotion. Once again the mood picks up and quickens slightly, electric and acoustic guitar return with drum and very minimal key boards in a beautiful song that celebrates the magic created by dusk and the evening hours. The electric guitar is much fiery than on the previous three tracks adding a bit of a growl to this dew covered ballad. Evening and Devotion is notably short. Given that four songs by Harvest Rain would leave most anyone wanting to hear more.

Jason and Jamey Thompkins have created a new and very unique neofolk sound through years of dedication and focus. Now standing amongst the very few established neofolk acts in North America I encourage all Heathen Harvest readers to purchase a copy of the full length album and or the EP and help these two keep making more home grown neofolk music! The Thompkins brothers deserve our respect having achieved the creation of their own unique brand of “Scarecrow or Samhain folk music.” Drawing upon inspiration from Americas fading rural character and their natural surroundings these two artists are well worth our attention.

those that are established neofolk fans should not consider their music collection complete without an album from Harvest Rain. Though just emerging into the commercially available market Harvest rain has earned the respect of neofolk music fans across the globe as word of their music spreads. I strongly encourage American Faeries to especially give Harvest Rain consideration in your music budget as our support is well deserved here. Fans of traditional folk or those who have no experience of neofolk may find these home grown artists to be a great in on the scene. Though the music is tinged with a haze of melancholy the ballads are from the heart and reflect ideas and thoughts that every heathen will feel. We hope to review more material by Harvest Rain in the future so keep coming back!

 Harvest Rain albums are avaliable for North American buyers directly from the band. If you live in North America and want to save on shipping costs please visit the Harvest Rain website listed above and contact the band via email to arrange purchases.

 

     


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