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Mitchell Anais
01. Wedding Song
02. Epic
03. Way Down Hadestown
04. Song Bird
05. Hey Little Song Bird
06. Gone I'm Gone
07. When Chips Are Down
08. Wait For Me
09. Why We Build The Wall
10. Our Lady of The Underground
11. Flowers
12. Nothing Changes
13. If Its True
14. Epic Part Two
15. Lovers Desire
16. His The Riot
17. Doubt Comes In
18. I Raise My Cup To him

Anais Mitchell – Hadestown

Since her fantastic Waterbug debut ‘Hymns for the Exiled’, it was obvious that Anais was a considered, ambitious and deep thinking singer/songwriter, but there’s little that could have prepared anyone for this, a magnificent and fully formed folk-opera modelled on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.
The well known myth of Orpheus’ journey to the underworld to revive his true love is packed with characters and twists and the way Anais has filled out the characters and set pieces is nothing short of magnificent and the 20 tracks are full of striking imagery throughout.
Mitchell takes the main parts of the story and transports it to a more modern setting (‘Hadestown’) but she stays close enough to the mythology to keep the story together, and it’s a utterly convincing how the characters still resonate today.
It’s the characters that really stand out and Mitchell has put together an outstanding group of singers to take on the roles within the story – she takes on the role of Eurydice, where her sweet and delicate vocals are perfect for the centrepiece of the tale.  Greg Brown is perfect as Hades with his gravelled bass carrying menace at every turn, his wife Persephone is played by Ani Difranco and her vocal style and delivery work incredibly well here; Justin Vernon (from Bon Iver) takes the role of the troubled hero Orpheus, and has some of the most important songs on the album, and Ben Knox Miller (from The Low Anthem) has the character of Hermes.
While this may all sound like a strange concept album, it holds together superbly – the city of Hadestown is brought to life through classic American folk music in all its forms, through folk, country, gospel, ragtime, blues and more – it feels like a living, breathing and bustling city.
With such a range of great artists taking part on the 57 minute album, it would be easy for Mitchell to take a back seat, but this is undoubtedly an album where she shines the brightest – her vocals are beautifully delicate and the melodies across the whole album are sophisticated and detailed.
While the premise may sound strange, this is an immediately accessible and yet moving work; it’s unlike anything else you’ve heard, but as an exercise in artistic creativity this is unsurpassed in recent memory.  One of the finest and most rewarding albums around and not to be missed.

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Mitchell Anais

CD (Cat No: 13574)

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