Label: Graefe Recordings Release date: 11/01/2010 Website: Peter Von Poehl Official Website “So I put on some Parliament and I'm walking my soul” sings Peter Von Poehl on the second track of this album. I'm not sure if he's talking about striding to George Clinton and his funky crew, but if you too want to stretch your spirit's legs, then May Day is just the ticket. The album begins with the gently beautiful finger picking of '28 Paradise' and ends in the triumphant climax that is 'Elisabeth', only ever putting a foot wrong once with the song 'Moonshot Falls'. Here, the different elements of the track just don't seem to fuse properly, producing something which sounds like a clumsy and very twee Beatles song. Thankfully however, this is in direct contrast to the rest of the album in which Poehl weaves a number of different instruments and styles together to create music of great depth, texture and variation. For example, 'Elisabeth' manages to move effortlessly from an ambient, Brian Eno like sound to a rousing Folk crescendo. Looking at the album as a whole, the more upbeat songs such as 'Parliament' and 'Carrier Pigeon' are offset by the wistful melancholy of others like 'Mexico' and the title track 'May Day', ensuring that there is a feeling of balance and discovery throughout. One of the album's biggest merits comes not from Peter Von Poehl but, instead, from French singer-songwriter Marie Modiano, for it is she that provides Mayday's lyrics. It is incredibly refreshing to encounter someone with a bit of poetic flair, after hearing too many musicians try to sing wittily about 'real life' experiences like meeting some girl in a club. Marie writes artistically, offering up thoughtful words and enigmatic images that appear to be pregnant with meaning. In fact, read as a poem rather than heard as a song, 'Moonshot Falls' is transformed into something quite engrossing. Whether or not there is any real significance to the things she writes I'm not sure, but the point is that they inspire a bit of contemplation, an important aspect all too lacking in a lot of modern songwriting. Besides, the French are always deep, right? From Folk to Indie, Smile to Frown (And a lot else besides) May Day is a captivating album to get lost in. Rating: 8/10 Like ye Peter Von Poehl?Sound off in our Fourum!