Meg Baird: Furling review – a contemplative delight

Given that she’s such a prolific collaborator, folk adventurer Meg Baird, you sense, sometimes forgets she has a solo career to uphold amid all her side projects. Furling is her first solo album since 2015’s Don’t Weigh Down the Light, and only her fourth in 16 years. Pleasingly, it’s well worth the long wait, in large part because the realisation of these songs feels more expansive than her earlier, more pared-back work, with Mellotron, synths – even drums – appearing alongside the more familiar acoustic guitar.

And what songs they are: opener Ashes, Ashes is an immersive, loose-limbed jam that’s underpinned by piano and backed by hypnotic, otherworldly wordless vocals. Star Hill Song finds Baird’s gorgeous vocal floating unhurriedly above a meandering guitar motif that sounds like a gentler Mazzy Star. Twelve Saints has lyrics (“Cups in our hands, we stared at the distance/ Thinking about friends that we’ve lost”) that perfectly complement its contemplative delivery. The fluttering melody of the intimate Unnamed Drives – just voice and guitar – recalls Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker at her most spellbinding. It’s a delight from start to finish.