EP review: Rylan Gleave – Lawn Crypt


Recorded live in 2021, Lawn Crypt explores the incredible vocal range of Leith-based composer and vocalist Rylan Gleave. His late breaking trans-masc voice goes from sonorous plainsong in the opening ‘Woo’d’ to a yearning falsetto reminiscent of Tilt-era Scott Walker via a strangled breathy rattle.

The six haunting tracks on this EP are inspired by the writings of Cromarty folklorist Hugh Miller and the ‘Pirate’s Graveyard’ in which he worked and buried his daughter. It drips with a spectral dread, ghosts floating in the moonlight on the icy ‘I Know Who Killed Me’, crashing waves and scattered bones in the organ and clarsach.

A lonely sepulchral resonance fills this: ‘Cradlesong’ talks of changelings, children abducted by fairies and replaced with one of their own; a bride anticipates – or maybe dreads – married life in a re-purposed folk song, and in the end we go to ‘lay down the daisies at your side’.

Lawn Crypt is out now via Bandcamp


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