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Jo Mango: When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree (Olive Grove)

Jo Mango

Jo Mango

When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree

(Olive Grove)

Jo Mango's album Murmuration was one of the most exquisite musical jewels of 2012. Here she sees out 2013 with a four-track EP that is so intimate, with a voice so hushed and precise, that it sounds as if it were recorded inside your own head. The title track veers delicately between childhood innocence and grown-up shadows, shifting from major to minor on piano chords and conjuring up an elusive adult fairytale ("There once grew a tree, ten flimsy branches on it/it used to hide us when the bailiffs came") in the lyrics too. A bowed cello note here, a squeeze of accordion there: the instruments are like tiny brushstrokes of colour in the far corners of a canvas, almost imperceptible but essential to the overall emotional effect. Pay close attention, and each of the songs will create its own small and imaginative world. Step further back, and the melodies will beguile you with their fragile beauty. Jo Mango will be playing the Christmas Songwriters' Club at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh on December 22 alongside Karine Polwart, Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit and others.

Alan Morrison

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