This is the first I've heard from the Irish collective, The Driftwood Manor, but I'm glad to have been introduced to this group's unique take on minimal folk music. This brief EP begins with a looping vocal chant of "ummmmmm" (or maybe it's "aummmmmm") that is joined by an equally hypnotic repetition of acoustic guitar, sitar swirl and bowed strings. The mood is reflective of the cover photograph- a misty morning away from human contact for a while. When the track shifts into a more song-based mode, my ears really start to perk up. It's not easy to transition from the land of hypnotic drone into a lyrical song, but this band does it so seamlessly that you might not even notice it until it starts to overwhelm you.
Track two is centered around a simple piano repetition and some integrated field recordings. It further defines the mood of the first track and the cover photograph- more meditative time away from the worries of human drama. The final track "Before it is Time" wraps up the disc nicely with a guitar and vocal piece full of simple quiet longing.
I'm impressed with The Driftwood Manor's focus on a singular atmosphere for this disc. I'm reminded at times of some highlights from Akron/Family, a band with which they share the unique ability to combine zoned out worlds with simple melodies. This is definitely a group to pay attention to. 9/10 -- Charles Franklin (2 December, 2009)