A Colourful Storm

MAXINE FUNKE - seance LP

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Following a productive recording period beginning with Silk (2018) and ending with Forest Photographer (2020), Seance marks a remarkable levitation of Funke’s tender, softly spoken songcraft first documented on Lace (2008) and Felt (2012) into new creative heights. Folksong confessionals with the burden of memory. Ghostly confines, murmurs from the cracks. Soil, blood and skin. The beauty and mundanity of the everyday.

The voice of Funke is a distinctive instrument, one which perfectly elucidates her sometimes confessional, at other times deeply inward allusions to love, loss, joy and disquiet. Lyrics grounded in observation and adventure (“Eyeballs, asphalt, grass clippings, peppercorns”) unravel into uneasy truths daubed in self-consciousness and forbidden desire (“I’m not shy / There's just a sparkle in your eye and I don't feel right”). The simplest things can be the most difficult to express.

Opener ’Fairy Baby’ and ‘Homage’ are sensuous and probing, celebrating new beginnings while cautiously closing old chapters. ‘Quiet Shore’, a seven-minute reverie of guitar strum and poetry, conjures spirits long forgotten and shines as Funke’s first solo foray into longform songwriting. A perfect accompaniment to the album’s centrepiece, ‘Lucky Penny’, a euphoric, entrancing rush foreshadowing the delicate dreamspeak still to come.

An assertive, visionary recording by one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary voices, Seance is a lover’s lament, a revealing of self and a secluded wander through fields of enchantment.