The Cedars

The Cedars are a London-based quartet fronted by the beautifully voiced Chantal Hill, and this, their debut album, sees tales of murder,

betrayal, love and pain set against a potent blend of Americana, country and folk. Much of ‘Little Copper Still’ is filled with a rough-edged,

whisky-fuelled, foot-stomping majesty; you can almost feel the sultry heat and tension that suffuses ‘Ten Gallon Mile’,

‘Chokecherry Blues’ drips with brooding menace and dark intent, while ‘The Colour’ is a raucous, fierily tuneful blast of banjo-fired joy.

This turbulence is interspersed with the softly melodic beauty of songs like ‘Phoenix’,

The Cedars and the heartbreaking lyrical purity of album-closing ballad ‘Johnny Davey’s Blues’,

where Hill sings of “the sky’s dark blood, against the land’s bones”. There are simply no weak songs on this storytelling debut.

This anxiety was particularly true for Drozd, who – despite false reports of the true nature of his relapse – fell back into drink and drugs briefly when making the record,

having kicked serious addiction some years prior. He offers me a more truthful account of events.

“I really don’t want to go too much into it because it was kind of a private thing, and then Wayne blurted the stuff out to the press

and it became this whole story where instead of people asking me about music it was just about my drug addiction.

Besides that, they mostly got it wrong – I had heard that I was addicted to heroin, which was not true.

I had started drinking again and taking some pills and stuff but it wasn’t as devastating as

Wayne made it seem because he likes to exaggerate to the press, but there was something there

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