I recently went up north for a day trip with my dog Kricket the blue eyed wild child of woods. Escaping into the primitive nothingness for a day was rejuvenating and is always a source of inspiration. I didn’t plan much except throwing my backpack in the vehicle along with a tall black coffee and tick repellant. Didn’t really check the weather either, generally its always around ten degrees cooler the farther up you go. I always keep an extra sweatshirt around somewhere in the seats next to my wood axe and hunting knives. My playlists for roadtrips are pretty eclectic, anything can and will show up eventually. Lately however I’ve been stuck on more Southern Gothic and dark Americana sounds.
As I got further along on my trip, I lost my cell signal so Spotify went out on me but before that happened a track played called “Shake off Your Flesh” by The Huntress and Holder of Hands. Now as this dark bluesy doom laden track caught my attention so did the highway that became less and less visible with some of the heaviest fog I’ve witnessed. My mind went to “Oh fuck” as it also started downpouring. I found myself trying to follow other vehicles by keeping my eyes on their tail lights at times just to make sure the road was still there. As the rain finally went to a drizzle the fog clung to the air and created the most dramatic scenery as it usually does.
Shake off Your Flesh swirled through the vehicle as I pulled down off the road places with nothing but pines and ghostly white birch standing among the Ocqueoc River. MorganEve Swain‘s vocals deep, sultry and haunting call over psychedelic chords, reverbed blues licks, and an atmosphere as thick as the fog I was driving through. Heavy drums pound away and viola backs as she sings verses filled with grief, tiredness, and strength.
Beneath my breasts
There burns a fire
Of Blood and Flesh
Of Sound and Wire
It won’t be quenched
Till’ I retire
From the wretchedness
That dark desireMorganEve Swain
The Huntress and Holder of Hands, Rhode Island placeholder MorganEve Swain began The Huntress and Holder of Hands as a vessel for exploring grief and growth after losing her husband and musical partner, Dave Lamb in 2014. This album is very reflective in tones of frustration, isolation, sadness, growth through emotionally powerful lyrics. I’m more than elated to have come upon this band, it’s heavy, ghostly, melodic and atmospheric. A musical funeral shroud and a powerful statement of human bonds transcending death.
Here is some info from the band itself:
“…you’re a Huntress and a Healer and a Holder of hands, and your heart is the Avalon I seek for my end.”
“When, a week before her 28th birthday, MorganEve Swain lost her husband and musical partner, Dave Lamb, to leukemia, the world did not stand still. April continued into May, breath continued its rhythm through the bodies of the living and in their studio in Warren, Rhode Island, MorganEve continued to record bass, strings and vocals into a laptop because it’s what she’d always done.
For the previous six years, she and Lamb had existed professionally as the duo Brown Bird, gaining a loyal international following through intensive touring and the original music they created, praised for its honesty and expression of the human condition. Without Dave, and in honor of him, MorganEve became The Huntress and Holder of Hands: a young widow pursuing the white stag of grief through a foreign wilderness, intent on maintaining the sense of wonder and compassion with which her partner lived his life.
In 2016, with the ambition to perform live, The Huntress and Holder of Hands expanded into a 5-musician entity, employing cello, bowed string bass, electric bass and drums with MorganEve primarily on five-string viola and guitar. As a band, The Huntress and Holder of Hands builds harmony, strings and bass-driven pieces influenced by Post-Metal, Blues and Americana and offers an intense musical and lyrical experience that explores love, loss, power and strength.
MorganEve self-released The Water Street Demos EP in November 2015. The band’s first full-length album, Avalon, was released on September 15 2017.
The Huntress and Holder of Hands is touring in 2019, and plans on releasing their second full-length by 2020. “
You can find the band here