Artist/ Band: Helen Davey
Title: Carvings
Label: Self release
Year of Release: 2011
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

This sophomore recording by Helen Davey veers towards a more contemplative Jane Siberry, Kate Bush, and Epiphany Project sound with some world music influences. Where as her first CD was almost void of voice, this one is altogether lyrical with the focus on vocals. And with much pleasure, I report that Helen has the same soft touch and wonder with her voice as she does with her instrumentation. Themes vary and styles move in an almost secret way, as each composition floats over to your ears. Some have more ethnic touches, some are lullaby, some slow subtle jazz (especially tracks six & seven), and some just give a big lush green meadow to let the listener’s imagination wander. By track four (‘Away With The Faeries’) you understand Helen’s degree of vocal acrobatics. Track eight (‘Little Boy Blue’) is for lovers of early Jane Siberry and Kate Bush for sure with it’s perfect vocal execution giving such real imagery. Brilliant!

All the professional level quality (mike techniques, recording, mixing, production and mastering) are present, that were on her first CD. An even larger net is cast with her abilities and skill to pen a vocal based song, making this a showcase ranking way high for creative music lovers everywhere. The addition of two superb musicians to this project (David Aebli - double bass, bouzouki, mandolin, guitar and Ferdi Rauber- gongs, tablas, udu, didjeridoo, djembe, frame drum, chimes) really give the entire recording an unreal glistening coat of dreamworld, not to mention an extra lift. Also a nice surprise is that Helen herself adds 12 and 6 string guitars, hackbrett (a variation of a dulcimer), glockenspiel, and accordion to the mix. She is one multi talented woman!

Both track nine (‘Footsteps’) and track eleven (‘Wishing Jar’) send shivers through my spine the same way Kate Bush’s “50 Words For Snow” always does. Stunningly beautiful music. ‘Wishing Jar’ has some didjeridoo (yes I know there are lots of different spelling of this) in it done supremely well. You would have to be a robot not to have visuals all through these songs. Last tune called ‘Waiting’ reminds me a bit of Sheila Jordan and her work with ECM. Tender jazz infected gorgeous vocals and piano (John Taylor style). This CD comes with a nice booklet that explains some concepts Helen got about carvings and is so worth the cost to get the physical copy. It’s a shame to listen to any of her music without the accompanying notations she makes as well as the visuals, not to leave out the important lyrics included here. Helen’s music is the opposite of shallow, so please don’t do housework or other activities while trying to listen. That would be both a crime and a shame. CD’s can bye purchased at her site, or for USA, they are at and Keep them coming Helen! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Reviewed by Lee Henderson on November 23rd, 2013


01. two sets of keys (3:18)
02. betwixt and between (5:44)
03. carving who we are (4:33)
04. away with the faeries (5:47)
05. hold still now (5:18)
06. sisterhood (5:07)
07. when I come around (3:28)
08. little boy blue (4:34)
09. footsteps (6:36)
10. ripples (5:10)
11. wishing jar (6:42)
12. waiting (3:53)

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