There is a magic place where folky warmth meets lurid technicolour horror, where progressive rock complexity and all out skull-crushing doom combines with classic songwriting to flesh out a sinister but romantic vision of twisted dreams and lurking threats hidden just out of view. That place dwells in the debut album by Purson.
The Circle And The Blue Door finds the missing link between Pentangle and Pentagram, by way of David Bowie’s dream reality and The Beatles’ feel for the perfect melody. And while it owes a debt to front woman Rosie Cunningham’s clear love of the late 60s and the early 70s, it is her poetic, evocative lyricism, tight song craft, sonorous vocal style and dedication to deep musicality that takes this wonderful album far beyond the waters of pastiche.
There are not too many 21-year-olds out there who are familiar with the early 70s golden age of satanic flute rock, when bands like Black Widow and Monument terrified Middle England with slow yet ominous odes to the devil, all the while dressed like sociology lecturers from the Open University. But Rosie Cunningham has gone her own way from a young age. Being named after the great god of Hell, may evoke the colour-saturated English countryside of early 70s Hammer Horror movies, but they do so with Beatles-esque sophistication, baroque charm and minor key reflection.