“We are neither animal or human,” calls the haunted voice of Juliann Nelson, and I can hear it travel across a wide surface of water, can sense the air rushing between tall pines, the sun setting over the ocean. There is truth here: the selkie travels the ocean wearing the skin of a seal, but sheds its pelt on land and walks as a human, a beautiful figure. There is an incoherence to the atmospheric vocals that lends itself to this half-human existence — knowing the words, trying to speak. Even when the lyrics cannot be deciphered, the emotive delivery conveys meaning.
I feel as though I have stumbled into a place so secret that I should never have known it. The wide open arrangements are fearless: the wildness of the voice, the perfect spaciousness of the guitar lines, The presence of the wind conveyed by the bansuri flute. This is an achingly beautiful record. Hold your breath and listen closely.