Mystery School, The – S/T

Except for a few compilation appareances, this album from 2002 is my first introduction to the music of The Mystery School, a collective lead by Carlos Boll from New York. He has created a pleasant listening album, somewhere between dark folk and moody pop, with some classical, ambient and psychedelic influences. This self-titled album was produced by Matt Howden, who also adds some musical, along with his wife Jane and Francisco Almada. The colourful cover art shows the hand of Tor Lundvall.

The grave vocals of Boll and the moody music remind me of While Angels Watch, Backworld or perhaps a softer version of Naevus. The combination with the elegant voice of Jane Howden works very well. The different songs display quite some variation in instrumentation, including various middle-eastern instruments.

A song like ‘Stolen’ instantly appeals to me, especially through the warm sound of an accordion. ‘Wave’ is a lovely romantic song, with sensitive lyrics and vocals and subtle violin sounds. Also pleasant is ‘Lifting the Veil’, which clearly shows the participation of Matt Howden. A nicely flowing, elegant album for Sunday afternoons.

artist: Mystery School, The
label: Cynfeirdd
details: 13 tracks, 2002 [Cyn 016]