Golden Fable Star Map Review

Golden Fable are Tim McIver and Rebecca Palin who were the driving force behind multi-instrumental cult group Tim and Sam’s Tim and the Sam Band. After a heavy UK wide touring schedule over three years, major festival appearances, a highly acclaimed album and many radio sessions, the duo decided that it was time for the charming innocence of Tim and Sam to grow up – so Golden Fable was born.

Described as “19th century English folk backed […] up with fluttering’  by The Line of Best Fit – the pair have recently been holed up in their studio retreat in North Wales, only surfacing once the dozens of songs had been whittled down to an LP (Star Map) that has now been released. [Sept 10]

The result is mature and inspired piece, a unique sound created from impressive musicianship and creative vision. “They absolutely nail this brand of music, from the imagery, to the melancholy shadows that loom all over it ..” said the Recommender.

Golden Fable have recently toured with The Miserable Rich and have been in session on BBC Radio One with Rob Da Bank. Taste shapers Jen Long, Bethan Elfyn, John Kennedy, Gideon Coe and Adam Walton have enthused about the “lush…beautiful…gorgeous” sound that is Golden Fable.

We took an early listen to ‘Star Map – and here’s what we thought:

The album starts with ‘Guiding Light’ to help us navigate through the foaming waters that threaten our lives. Delicate notes stellate and flicker around the silver chrome voices, while a limited chatter of rhythm bounds us along expectantly.

Always Golden’ has a voice like a fluttering firefly. Rebecca’s vocals flicker intermittently, before rising majestically in search of the moon. Cushions of simple soft suppleness are arranged around the base of this song,  perhaps to capture the voice if it hesitates or falls. This is graceful and totally addictive. It deserves to be heard over-and-over.

Sugarloaf’ has a rasped chording start. Then some more generous waves fill the sails, and the song lifts gently – yet powerfully – as it gradually leaves the sanctuary of the harbour. The ripples of the waves and the flapping of the sails always seem to be present …. as the song moves toward a climax of glittering dustiness.

The Chill Part 2’ is scratchy and starchy. Low elongated notes writhe around on the bottom of a barrel of gloopy sounds. When the frosty vocals arrive, they will relieve any tension you might have, and cast a melancholy light over the whole glazed scene.

Lament’ sounds like a traditional English folk piece. With appealing guitar chords and rustling percussion. The rhythm rises and falls like a heavy chest.  Then ‘Reconsider King’ reintroduces the Carmelite crystalline voice. So sweet and so ethereal. Professing sincere vows before going to the gallows. Clumps of sounds gradually fall out of the chattering string chord structure . The song then blossoms into an enchantingly graceful piece,  and it stands proud and high.

Restless Souls’ completes this amazingly beautiful album.  A series of melancholy sounds abound, while Tim’s lustrous vocals are washed gently against the rocks created by Rebecca’s own tumultuous voice.


Get the album here.  [Deluxe limited hand-sewn CD edition]

– © Neil_Mach September 2012 –


October Tour with Field Music…

Oct 03 2012, Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree (with Field Music)
Oct 04 2012, Glasgow, Oran Mor (with Field Music)
Oct 05 2012, Leeds, The Cockpit (with Field Music)
Oct 06 2012, Liverpool, Kazimier (with Field Music)
Oct 17 2012, London, Electric Ballroom (with Field Music)
Oct 18 2012, Brighton, The Haunt (with Field Music)
Oct 19 2012, Bath, Komedia (with Field Music)
Oct 20 2012, Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre (with Field Music)
Oct 21 2012, Swn Festival, Cardiff
Nov 09 2012, Kraak Gallery, Manchester


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