Jenny Sturgeon – The Living Mountain

Album Review | Hudson Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Listening to Jenny Sturgeon’s new record is a little like embarking upon a ramble through the Cairnhorns.  The music Jenny creates lends itself to this sort of exploration, a journey through the senses, where time appears to stand still.  Not many genres allow for this.  There are no Death Metal albums dedicated to the countryside that I know of, nor are there many 1990s Grunge records that evoke the beauty and tranquility of this part of the world.  The closer to ambient folk music we get, the more we find musicians returning to the natural world in search of inspiration and Jenny does this well, as exemplified in the twelve selections here.  The song titles alone appear to spell out the content, such as “Frost and Snow”, “The Plants”, “Birds, Animals, Insects” and “The Senses”.

It’s not just the gentle compositions that makes this such a sensuous experience, nor is it the sparse arrangements and the tender touch of the keyboard, it’s also the use of a multitude of sound effects that offer a flavour of the natural world, as birdsong weaves between the selections, which is never cloying or invasive, but adds to the experience.  Produced by Andy Bell, The Living Mountain takes us away momentarily from these uncertain times and helps us breathe in cleaner air.