CD Review

The Changelings - "Terra Firma"

By Rat Bastard

Terra FirmaAccording to folklore, changelings were the children of faeries which were put in place of human children snatched from their cribs and spirited off by the fey. As far as I know, the legends have very little to say of the musical ability of a changeling, and much less of a band of changelings. Therefore, it is my duty to fill in this void in the literature.

The Changelings, in a nutshell, are a band from Atlanta that happens to put out some damn fine ethereal music. Terra Firma, their second album, is evidence to that effect. Of course, there are plenty of good ethereal bands out there (along with even more not-so-good ones), but there are several qualities which separate a good ethereal band from a damn fine one...and The Changelings have them all.

First of all, this is ethereal music with a pulse. Violins, synths, drums (and many other percussive instruments), and guitars (and on several tracks, sitar) weave an aural tapestry melodically textured so as to maintain the attention of listeners rather than bore them into unconsciousness. In my personal experience, a lot more enjoyment can be garnered from music when one is conscious. Quite simply, The Changelings are lively without losing their ethereality due to the presence of such liveliness.

All of this forms the backdrop for the vocals of Regeanna Morris, which are nothing less than beautiful. While being somewhat reminiscent of the voice of Lisa Gerrard, it carries a much lighter timbre, and floats amidst the music not unlike a gentle stream or breeze. In a word: ethereal.

The material on Terra Firma is the product of several different musical influences. Songs like Clockwork' and Stalingrad have a purely neo-classical feel, while Johnny Ether's Great Escape and Dervish incorporate Middle Eastern styles into the mix. One song that particularly stands apart is Cherchez La Femme, a laid-back and loungy swing-jazz number, which I was quite surprised to hear on my first listen of the album.

In short, The Changelings are a good example of what ethereal music should sound like. Since Dead Can Dance is no longer with us, there needs to be at least one band to show that ethereal music can be diverse, interesting, and lively. The Changelings fill that role quite nicely, regardless of whether they be human or fey.

Contact Information:
Post: The Changelings, P.O. Box 5583, Atlanta GA 31107
Phone: (404) 627-6496