Helghyer’s The Mage, The Wiseman And The Lioness: Part 1 - May I Have An Extra Side Of Heathcliff Please?

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In judging this EP by its cover, I expected to hear other worldliness, Celtic ballads, or at the very least some panpipes. The promotional photographs for Natalie Earl’s (a.k.a. Helghyer) self released EP feature all the hallmarks of Gaelic promise: moorland, mist, scrubby plants…hell, she’s even wearing a cloak and holding a staff.

But to presume that you were going to spend the next four songs search for/avoiding Heathcliff (delete as appropriate) would be a mistake; there’s something more interesting going on here.

This EP is an unusual mixture of lots of little joyous elements, but that don’t quite come together. I hesitate to say not quite, because frankly Helghyer’s so close to something brilliant here that I desperately want to say that it’s perfect.

I love her comforting, slightly eerie and undeniably memorable voice. The lyrics make me want to run off with Natalie and her pixies into that mist. As for the video for Broken The Spell, I never knew that peg dolls could me so happy inside. I particularly love the one that I’m going to christen ‘Capitalist Doll’: “What?! By 30%?? Sell!!” Cracks me up…

 The rub lies in the slight jar that I feel exists between all these elements. I return to my opening thoughts – where are my panpipes? The name Helghyer (meaning Hunter in Cornish) is a great lexical choice. I can relate to harking back to your roots and feeling the local love without a quibble. In fact, I think a shade more faith in those elements would be just the ticket here; more Heathcliff, in other words. The Beast of Bodmin Moor was far and away my favourite song from this release; I felt that it really tapped into this spirit without beating me over the head with a crowdy-crawn.

So watch this space – Helghyer’s coming at you with her pixies and peg dolls. Dust off that old apple wassail bowl and get ready to commune with nature; it’s going to be good.