Philadelphia’s Almshouse re-work an infamous classic with this release, re-crafting everything from the pace to the melody to the instrumentation and overall mood – this is Auld Lang Syne as you’ve never heard it before.
Beginning with a fairly simple yet melancholy marching rhythm, led by acoustic guitar but accompanied increasingly as the piece progresses, the single sees vocalist Irene Lambrou drive with a mighty and somewhat haunting approach. Her performance is brilliantly passionate, particularly during the latter half, and is undoubtedly in its own league entirely for most of us who tend to expect the jolly moment of togetherness the song usually ignites.
Lambrou’s voice captivates immediately, guiding you through this new version of the song in a demanding and compelling fashion. Quite quickly you forget all previous arrangements, you lose yourself in this composition, and the song’s story and intention take on a whole new role. The words sound different, the historical context comes to mind, and all the while the instrumentation and the general delivery gather infectious momentum and intensity as things move along.
This is a genuinely fascinating cover of a world famous bit of songwriting. It can be argued that the best covers are those that creatively steer away from the original in every possible manner, and this is a fine example of that in action, and working well. There’s something strangely addictive about the darkness and rising weight of the whole thing. Well worth a listen.