Mangion, The Other Side of the Mountain CD
Egg Records, Egg 67CD)
When Suzy Mangion split-up the acclaimed duo George in 2006, she loaded her Yamaha keyboards onto her percussion trolley,
and went over the mountain, to see what she could see. And all that she could see was...
... The Other Side Of The Mountain. A solo album of old-fashioned length and unfashionable feeling. Suzy has carried over her distinctively intimate production and melancholic
song-writing, which charged the George albums The Magic Lantern (Pickled Egg, 2003) and A Week of Kindness (Pickled Egg, 2005), and created a record even more intense,
even more charming. From the gospel-choir reverie of “Evenings at Home” to the stark, primitive folk-frenzy of “Ohio the Homeland”, from 50’s-tinged Italian dream-pop in “Il Mondo
è Qui” to the restrained anger of simple piano prayer “The Deliverers of their Country”, Suzy’s songs drift from style to style, but always unified by her trademark haunting vocals
and complex harmonies. Suzy pushes herself further vocally on this album than on any of her work to date, and the freedom of working solo has allowed even more experimentation
with her sound and songs, a harmonious noise of electronics old and new mixing with the bricolage of beats, banjos and beat-up pianos.
"Suzy Mangion is one of those people who ends up creating a lot of good music without anyone realising
it until they look back and go, 'Hey, wait a minute...' [the same could be said the the entire Pickled Egg catalogue - Ed].
Mangion's solo debut works in a spooky psychedelic vein, that for all the use of everything from banjo to harp, relies ultimately
on Mangion's lovely vocals. There's more variety and more beauty on here than most other albums are going to show this year"
[Ned Raggett, Plan B]
"Suzy Mangion possesses a rich and evocative voice, which she puts to good use on her solo album. Things get serious
with the folk dance rhythm of ‘Ohio The Homeland’, a beautiful sung lament full of longing and sadness. On the extremely pretty ‘Many Happy Returns’, the spirit of Karen Carpenter is invoked,
the vocal performance quite breathtaking, whilst On ‘The March Past’, a scratchy electronic pulse is overlaid with a droning chord and delicate vocals in the spirit of Vashti Bunyan.
Over 40 minutes, this album never puts a foot wrong" [Ptolemaic Terrascope]
"The Other Side of The Mountain burrows even further into Mangion’s nocturnal lo-fi world of skeletal Victorian spookiness, wartime balladry and Appalachian folk, with more defiant obliqueness
than ever before" [Delusions of Adequacy]
'Ohio the Homeland'
'Il Mondo e Qui'
Listen to The Other Side of the Mountain
Week of Kindness CD
(Pickled Egg Records, Egg 56CD)
'A Week of Kindness' is the second album from the
Manchester musical magpies. Their haunting anachronistic sound,
heard in 2003's resoundingly successful debut album 'The Magic
Lantern', resurfaces from its own very distinctive musical world.
George’s adventures in bricolage gather strength in their
new record, a coherent miscellany of bric-à-brac
electronics and clockwork melody. It proffers to the listener the
saddest, prettiest songs about early surgical cinema, living in
memory or a fearful search for joy, that they will hear for a
long time. The old-style "partners in chime"
[Sleazenation] wish to sing their hearts out to you!
a massive tension in their music, starkly minimal with something
nasty threatening to emerge, like a shattered wine glass in a
costume drama dinner party. Nervous keyboards played like a
school assembly recital; gentle but jagged rhythmic guitar
strumming; strong, wavering voice like a mean-drunk Sandy Denny
echoing around the big, dark hall. I can imagine all of their
songs taking place in a microcosm of some phantasmagorical
stately home; first a song for looking out from the upstairs
balcony on some doomed frosty morning, then they add some
pre-recorded voodoo drumming to evoke some guilt-fuelled
Dionysian tryst in the spring-blooming garden. Maybe D.H.
Lawrence had nightmares like this sometimes..." [Ben Haggar,
New and Better Heart' (MP3)
Fear Keeps God a Hiding' (MP3)
of Wonders' (MP3)
Could be Here' (MP3)
Week of Kindness
Listen to A
Week of Kindness on Last.fm
The Magic Lantern CD
(Pickled Egg Records, Egg 47CD)
"Michael Varty and Suzy Mangion sound partly like
Manchester's answer to Low, but a studied eccentricity percolates
their music, pitched somewhere between folk electronica and
sepia-hued melancholy. Instrumentally, 'The Magic Lantern'
display's an antiquarian's magpie methodology, with George's
vintage sense of otherness broadly occupying the same territory
as Pram. However, Suzy Mangion's voice cuts through the muggy
layer of postmodernism to deliver songs that beautifully capture
a sense of perpetual loss through the passing of time itself. The
music's junk shop aesthetic matches primitive electronica and
music box tinkling in a style that sometimes veers close to
sentimentality, but is rescued in the end by its unassuming
charm" [Tom Ridge, The Wire]
"Hypnotic debut from
Mancunian duo. When she’s not collaborating with the
likes of Arbol and Piano Magic, singer Suzy Mangion writes
intimate torch songs with multi-instrumentalist Michael Varty.
Recorded at their home studio in Manchester, 'The Magic Lantern'
starts with a lush vocal harmony, then proceeds to take the
listener on a slow waltz through 60 minutes of late-night
laments, melancholy folk ballads and fairground instrumentals.
One minute Mangion sounds like Joni Mitchell crooning over a
Wurlitzer, the next she’s whispering like Vincent Gallo’s
long-lost cousin over a fragile score of guitars, chimes, strings
and loops. Either way, the results are never less than
mesmerising" [Sarah Jane, Uncut]
"The Magic Lantern is a
disc by new Manchester duo of Michael Varty and Suzy Mangion,
occasional singer with Piano Magic. The George sensibilty is much
more song based, and the instrumentation mainly acoustic, with
highly sparing interventions of electronics, only to add
atmosphere to the record's extremely intimate mood. The Magic
Lantern's suite of beautiful songs makes no vulgar attempt to
grab your attention, and its inward-looking focus put me in mind
of the woody folkisms of Vashti Bunyan, previously the last word
in this kind of hushed English Fireside reverie" [John
Bagnall, The Sound Projector]
Track Through the Woods' (MP3)
You Know a Music?' (MP3)
Listen to The
Magic Lantern on Last.fm
'All Good Things' CD EP
Records Lejos 002)
Pickled Egg has a limited number of the new George EP,
'All Good things', released on the Spanish label, Lejos.