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Today’s tip comes from briny, doom-laden folktronica trio Snow Ghosts. ‘Bowline’ is, as its knotty title suggests, a tale set aboard a vessel on the high metaphorical seas, effortlessly capturing the lonely, gnawing fear of being at the mercy of the forces of nature, of being stranded and alone, with only the thinnest hope of rescue.

The first thirty seconds are things of beauty: a chiming synth combines with bowed strings, before Hannah Cartwright’s mournful vocals arrive with their tale of woe. There’s drama aplenty in a crescendo of huge synth stabs, blended with electric guitar distorted beyond almost any recognition, the aural equivalent of being far out to sea in a force nine gale.

Snow Ghosts do seem to have rather an obsession with the ocean and its mishaps (their forthcoming album is called ‘A Wrecking’), and ‘Bowline’ is a veritable cornucopia of such watery metaphors as: “You left me on the rocks” / “Blown off course by the west wind” / “I’ll wait for the turn of the tide”. Not one for thalassophobics, then. But, for everyone else who fancies a bit of dark, salty emotion, Snow Ghosts really deliver.

Words by Martin Sharman

Tipped by Richard Kemp from Kemptation

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