Faith & Disease is a Seattle trio that plays complex melodic songs with a
slow, religious intensity.
They debuted with the singles
Voltaire's Vallerie (Siren Song, 1992) and
Jardeau Blue (Aida House, 1993) and the album
Beauty and Bitterness (Ivy, 1994).
The vastly improved Fortune His Sleep (Ivy, 1995) showed a
maturing group of musicians, in particular singer
Dara Rosenwasser, who steals the show in the
eight-minute Healing Anne. While most of the album relies on a
grandiose recreation of medieval and renaissance music,
Memorium and Fortune His Sleep hark back to British
Livesongs Third Body (Ivy, 1996) was followed by
Insularia (Ivy, 1998), that contains a few more gems
(Witches) and by the anthology
Lamentations (Ivy, 1999).
ethereal singing (Charlotte Sather and Dara Rosenwasser) with
subdued (and mostly acoustic) chamber arrangements (Eric Cooley), Faith &
Disease's music approaches a serene, contemplative stance that borders
on Gergorian chants, Tibetan mantras and Celtic folk.
While one can find similarities with the most elegant psalms sung by
Loreena McKennitt and
Dead Can Dance,
Faith & Disease's program on
Beneath The Trees (Projekt, 2000) is humbler and
devoid of medieval or ethnic pretensions. Their skills are best represented
by the sweet, tender, waltz-tempo lullaby Rubina Verde,
whereas the more down-to-earth Shallow
could be a staple in the repertory of folksingers such as
Suzanne Vega and
More ambitious tones can be found in the dreamy, jazzy ballad
If I Drink From This Cup.
The music even ventures into Enya territory with
the suave free-form harmonizing of Mayim
and the ghostly requiem of Eventually Again.
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