The Changelings - "Terra Firma"
By Rat Bastard
According 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
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.
Changelings, P.O. Box 5583, Atlanta GA 31107
Phone: (404) 627-6496