24 April 2023

CONSTANTINE – Fables (2023, CD Self Released)




Label: Self Released

Format: CD, Album, Limited Edition (Includes a lovely uncoated gatefold sleeve, two sticker inserts, 16-page lyric booklet with illustrations), 100 copies

Release Date: 7 Feb 2023

Our beloved Chicago-based artist/singer/composer/musician Constantine Hastalis is back with a self-released CD album entitled “Fables”. Constantine released 2 fantastic LPs, “Day Of Light” in 2015, and “In Memory Of A Summer Day” (check review) in 2020. Also, under the Red River Dream moniker he released the exceptional 7-inch vinyl single “Silver Ship / Somewhere At The Edge Of Time” (check review) through Hypnotic Bridge Records, in 2022. Of course, Constantine was featured in TimeMazine #9 (Autumn 2016).

But, let’s have a look at “Fables”“Fables” consists of 7 songs plus 3 short “interludes”, 3 short Verses (Fables Verse I, II, II), one at the beginning, one at the middle and one at the end of the album… The album takes off with “Fables (Verse I)”, a few hummingbirds, sounds of water from a stream, a lovely flute sound, and Constantine’s soft and warm voice that ‘somehow’ welcomes us to the “Fables”, this kind of a short adventure by a Piper and his Flute… “The Witchwood” is a sad and full of melancholy fairy tale dressed with beautiful serene Folkie music, creating a quite pastoral environment with a rather spare/thrifty orchestration, making this track probably the most dark in here… The same pastoral soundscape goes on with the next track, “She Waits”, a little more medieval sounding with dreamy acoustic guitars… “First Day Of May” is another sad song, drenched in melancholy, flute, and acoustic guitar are creating a serene but cold Folkie environment though the scenery becomes a little psych flirting as the song develops… The short sunny folkie flower “Fables (Verse II)” is followed by the also short “The Shire”, a Folkie medieval-kind of tune with beautiful strings… “Knight & The Primrose” is a Folkie ballad and certainly refers to other ages, lyrically and musically, of course! (Just close your eyes and imagine a loner troubadour telling the story of a Knight, to some villagers, around the fire)… “Little Road” blends Psych with Folk under Constantine’s unique talent of incorporating the narrative styles of the great storytellers of the 60s, absolutely Superb! “Fox’s Fable” is a fairy tale flirting with Psych, and Folk, with a weird Medieval Acid feel, probably the only track inside this album that can act as a “bridge” with Constantine’s previous album, not that a “bridge” is a necessity here though…And the album comes eventually to an end as the way it started, with “Fables (Verse III)”… So, in conclusion… Constantine’s intention was to create an album more “homely” and “simple”, an album less psychedelic and sitar-less… And he succeeded in that! So, yes, this a satisfying album, a pleasant and cozy one, an old-school Folkie album inspired by the British Folk scene of the late 60s early 70s – Donovan and Mark Fry – and the nearby future will show if this is just a “current phase” or the “Folk” offshoot outmatched the “Psychedelic” one… Both of them – Folk and Psychedelia – harmonically coexisted in Constantine’s previous 2 albums… So, Constantine whatever happens next, I will certainly follow… TimeLord Michalis


1 Fables (Verse I) 1:02
2 The Witchwood 2:45
3 She Waits 2:50
4 First Day Of May 2:59
5 Fables (Verse II) 0:51
6 The Shire 2:00
7 Knight & The Primrose 3:10
8 Little Road 3:08
9 Fox’s Fable 4:59
10 Fables (Verse III) 0:53

Listen / Buy through CONSTANTINE Bandcamp






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