Genre: Folk
Label: Nonesuch
Format: 33RPM,
Size: 12"


Offa Rex The Queen Of Hearts LP

Offa Rex

$9.99 $21.99
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2018 Grammy Award Nominee!
• Best Folk Album: The Queen Of Hearts

Debut Album On Vinyl LP!
Psych-Folk Project From Olivia Chaney & The Decemberists!

The Queen of Hearts is the debut album from Offa Rex, an adventurous project featuring English singer/multi-instrumentalist Olivia Chaney and The Decemberists. Produced and recorded by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket, Neko Case) and Colin Meloy at Martine's studio in Portland, OR, the album draws largely on traditional English-Irish-Scottish repertoire to create a transatlantic musical conversation that flirts with psychedelia and folk rock while maintaining its own inimitable identity.

Decemberist frontman Colin Meloy pitched the idea for Offa Rex to English singer/songwriter Olivia Chaney by saying, "Let us be the Albion Dance Band to your Shirley Collins. Let's start a band. Let's make a record of old folk songs that will be as much about rediscovering ancient songs as it is an homage to that incredible era of British music, the 60s and 70s folk revival." The set includes Meloy on lead vocals on two tracks, Chaney's lead vocals on eight tracks, and an instrumental medley of two old Morris dance tunes arranged by Jenny Conlee on accordion. Of the title track Meloy says, "It's about heartbreak in the face of unrequited love; to my ears it's as fresh today as when it was written three hundred years ago. That's kind of the spirit of the record."

"The Decemberists have long shown a fascination with the tragedy of folklore, and it was probably inevitable that they'd wind up making a traditional folk-rock album at some point in their careers. But by teaming with Chaney, they've surpassed delivering a mere homage. Instead, The Queen Of Hearts hums with the resonance of bygone eras and ancient ways, of doomed love and arduous hardship — all of it embroidered into the patchwork tapestry of life itself." - Jason Heller, NPR

"She has a magical voice, full of heft, soul and sunlight, reminiscent of Sandy Denny and Maddy Prior, while feeling refreshingly heartfelt and true. Add Colin Meloy's brilliant band, and this collection of traditional songs sounds stirringly new. Take the well-known Willie O'Winsbury, or The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: guitars, harmonium drones and Chaney's control lift them to different places. Surprises lurk too. Lal Waterson's To Make You Stay becomes an iridescent, piano-drizzled duet, while Sheepcrook (the Steeleye Span staple) gains brilliantly filthy, Black Sabbath rock edges. Everything works, though, loudly and proudly." - Jude Rogers, The Guardian

"Music so clear and quaint seems an anachronism in a world where glitz and grooves are used to woo the masses. Subtlety is practically extinct. As a result, The Queen of Hearts demands a patient listen and a willing ear. Happily, this clear appreciation for folk nobility reaps its rewards." - Lee Zimmerman, Paste Magazine

"The Queen of Hearts is a towering, majestic work. It is effortlessly confident, an album that shifts from pleasure to pleasure – a consistent collection superbly arranged and played. Produced and recorded by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket, Neko Case) alongside Colin Meloy, it is at turns a nostalgic nod to the great British folk-rock albums of the late 60s and 70s but equally assured in a fresh, contemporary way." - Peter Shaw, Folk Radio UK (FRUK)

• Vinyl LP

Side A:

1. The Queen Of Hearts
2. Blackleg Miner
3. The Gardener
4. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
5. Flash Company
6. The Old Churchyard
Side B:
1. Constant Billy (Oddington) / I'll Go Enlist (Sherborne)
2. Willie O' Winsbury
3. Bonny May
4. Sheepcrook And Black Dog
5. To Make You Stay

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