Album review: Daisy Rickman – Donsya a’n Loryow

Album artwork

Words by Lady Godiva

How immersive can a record sleeve be? Gaze into Daisy Rickman‘s debut album cover and you will get a tantalizing introduction to her work. 

A moonlit sky and while the first quarter is watching over her, a fairy like character, is spreading daisies all over like spells.  At further glance, flowers grow from the moon maiden’s hands and hair.  Donsya a’n Loryow, Cornish for Dance of the Moons, is the title of this young singer songwriter’s self-produced record. 

This is literally what it feels like, sitting in a countryside garden staring at the moon, listening to an unadulterated, organic and spiritual musical narrative.

Daisy, who is also a painter, designed the artwork, which provides even deeper insight into her creative world. Her brush strokes are as fascinating as her dreamscapes and vocal range, they take you to an imaginary land where one may encounter fairy tale book characters mingling with mythological beings. 

“Borelesyow Bleujyowa” sets the tone and while the melody might bear similarities with other recent songwriter acts such as Vetiver, Rickman has her own singular way of purveying white magic. Like a mermaid luring sailors to the sea, her cristalline voice coos and guides you all the way through. Utterly meditative and soothing, the tune “Haven” is aptly named and lets you bask in that blissful croon. 

“Alice” turns up the charm by a notch. A wondrous ode to the moon, it is the story of a girl called Alice who one night is guided by a gifted hand to wander through the land and bathe her eyes in milk. She strolls through gardens, following the flowers with her eyes closed and is cleansed under the New Moon. There is something utterly transfixing and bewitching about this number, that banjo combined with lyrics that seem straight out of an old book of spells will give you goosebumps and keep you dreaming away…

Endlessly ethereal, Daisy’s voice makes you feel as if you were floating in space. Although they have very different pitches, Rickman’s vocals have the haunting quality of folk legend Karen Dalton, but with an intrinsic mellowness and otherworldly aura. 

Recorded over 2020 and 2021 in Dorset and in her native Cornwall, Donsya a’n Loryow stems entirely from the mastermind of Daisy Rickman who composed a sprawling love letter to the magic of her homeland. 

A very gifted multi-instrumentalist, the artist plays everything on the record which she recorded and mixed herself. It was eventually mastered by Ryan Carlson Van Kriedt from Sunsplit, The Asteroid #4 and Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Celebrate the moon with this enchanting collection of songs, take inspiration from it and that intriguing planet that reminds us that shadow aspects of ourselves can be illuminated and exposed during the various moon cycles. Expand your vision whilst reveling in Daisy’s uncanny spectrum and poetry.

Donsya a’n Loryow is out 13/8/22 and available on vinyl and digitally here

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