The first album from cosmic psych-folk singer/songwriter Jane Weaver's Fenella project was composed as an alternate soundtrack for Fehérlófia (Son of the White Mare), a fantastically trippy 1981 Hungarian cult animation classic directed by Marcell Jankovics. Partially recorded in a remote cottage in Northwest Scotland with bandmates Peter Philipson and Raz Ullah, the album is a further left-field turn from Weaver's Krautrock-inspired full-lengths such as The Silver Globe and Modern Kosmology. Drifting between ambient pop tunes and brief textural pieces, the release works perfectly as an aural film even without the added joy of the visuals. Tracks like "Bright Curse" balance delicate vocals and vivid synth arpeggios with wilder electronic flares and sweeps, as well as transformative guitar tones, mixing innocent and ominous tendencies. While some pieces like "The Seed" feel like half-dissolved pop songs, there are also gorgeous, ethereal meditations such as the sublime "Shard of Glass" and the more solid-sounding dream pop of "Strength in Air." Even while some of the shorter tracks seem to evaporate into the air, most of them are still curious, captivating diversions, particularly the nearly 8-bit-sounding blips and echo sequences of "Truly Seduced." The simple melodies and thick, fuzzy waves of guitars during "Battle" add up to a monstrously suspenseful scene, but instead of building up into a brutal attack, they segue into the sweet, spacy indie folk tune "Echo Chamber of Your Heart." Full of thrilling mood shifts and beautiful noises, Fenella is up there with Weaver's best, most creative work.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson