Yule Songs Volume II8:00, 14th December 2017
The Swingle Singers
Part of a trio of recent releases (the other two being Deep End and Folklore), the Swingles’ second volume of Yule Songs is saturated by their characteristic close-miked sound and harmonic twists, nowhere better heard than in O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, its joy all the more powerful in its restraint. Swingle singer Clare Wheeler not only arranges, but presents her own work in With Us, pop-like but with a deep message of disconnection from the original Christmas message; Oliver Griffiths’ Forgotten has a delicious folksy, almost Pagan feel.
An example of the variety of sounds, always in the Swingle spirit, can be gleaned from the list of additional instruments for Tidings: bodhrán, sideboard, table, snare-box, tambourine and enamel pie dish. Within one short arrangement, the Swingles present a kaleidoscopic exploration of a favourite. A tribute to the original Swingle Singers, Deck the Halls is as smooth as they come. Superb.