You can feel the music of Notes For A Maiden Warrior in your bones. Cast within a lowlight indie-folk and trad landscape, you can almost sense the wind move through the mountains as the rain falls down and the cold snap seeps in. All this surrounds a haunting central performance from songwriter Dani Larkin.
Organic in its construction, Notes For A Maiden Warrior creates worlds within sparse spectrums. Dani Larkin’s powerful songwriting is the focal point, while the wintery production uses minimalist folk elements to deliver a sense of drama. ‘The Mother Within’ opens proceedings by melding Larkin’s bewitching voice inside a tense backdrop of picked patterns and rising textures. Followed by the entrancing ‘Bloodthirsty’, there’s a strength that emanates from every word and chord from the outset.
Notes For A Maiden Warrior is an album that draws from the past. Gathering its essence from the roots of music itself, Larkin’s songwriting takes lessons learned and applies them to the present, both sonically and lyrically. Whether it’s drawing from mythological characterizations like in ‘The Red (Maca’s Return)’ or the personal history shown in ‘Love Part One’ to ‘Three’, Larkin wraps her experience and visions in a world that feels relevant to both the past and the present.
‘Three Wise Women’ closes Notes For A Maiden Warrior and serves to expose the heart of the album, Larkin’s words and voice. Resting upon her vocal, the track brings a sense of closure and impact to the record, making a statement about what we’ve just heard and what may be to come.
And so it goes, Notes For A Maiden Warrior lingers long after listening. As I mentioned at the start of this review, there’s music to be found here that will rest in your bones. Dani Larkin’s songwriting reaches far within us, to a musical sense of tradition and place we all feel in the present. The past is relatable because we’ve lived it, no matter how distant. With Notes For A Maiden Warrior, Dani Larkin melds these themes perfectly.