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MIDWIFE ‘Luminol’

Jul 16, 2021 | Psych, Reviews

Fully immerse yourself in 'heaven metal'

Multi-instrumentalist, Madeline Johnston, wrote, recorded, and produced, her latest album in lockdown, and used the time to apply a degree of forensic introspection. Not necessarily a new phenomenon in these challenging times, but this album reveals a multitude of layers and rewards with each listen. Johnston is a self-taught guitarist who wields her instrument with unconventional poise, emitting corrosive ocean-wide drones and flourishes of colour – earning Midwife her own genre of Heaven Metal. When the keyboard takes over we’re wandering in a miniature world of melody with delicate soaring vocals. Confinement, self-harm, isolation, and control, are recurrent themes, and although dark, it doesn’t feel defeatist, as there’s a sinuous cathartic strength at work – interestingly the image on the cover is Johnston’s mother at the age Midwife was when recording the album, underlining the reflective punctuation point in life. Full immersion is recommended.

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