Album Review of
Bords de Terre – Dubhe

Written by Joe Ross
August 18, 2022 - 11:10am EDT
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The four talented women of Horzines Stara released an EP entitled Ces Voûtes (These Vaults) in 2019, recorded live in a chapel. That laid the groundwork for their demanding, wild harmonic research and presentation, unconstrained by borders or preconceptions. They wanted to point out that language can be strange, whether sounds are understood, have meaning or just convey syllables to reveal a colorful universe rich in folkloric images from lullabies, proverbs or prophecies. Horzines Stara’s music is described as “a protean music, traditional and progressive, stemming from the roots of French song and psychedelia.”

The four vibrant vocalists are also instrumentalists. Miléna Martin (cello), Laura Zanetti (guitar), Marceline Malnoë (accordion, flute) and Elise Pastor (percussion) create many evocative moods that draw a listener right into their sensuous world. At times it’s haunting and surreal; and at others, it is joyous and celebratory. Like memories, their melodies flow breezily along until one suddenly makes a significant impact.

This album’s title, Bords de terre – Dubhe refers to those edges of land, perhaps borders between the waves of an ocean crashing on a sandy beach. Or perhaps their music envisions more terrestrial habitats ranging from deserts to forests, grasslands to alpine outcrops. Or maybe even a more grand and universal space. Regardless, the aim of tracks like “Les bords de terre,” “The Walker,” Oshoi,” “La ville a l’aube” and “Cosmos” is to question all borders, whatever their cause, and to encourage our adoption of a more dreamlike world view. 

Horzines Stara’s music incorporates elements of folk, soul, jazz, slam poetry and even some classical music. Inspired by purveyors of psychedelic soul, the group tends to defy genres with their innovative, spell-binding approach to music that provides an emotional journey full of charisma, energy, meaning and feelings. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)