- by Gaia Consort
Reviewed by Gwydion McCarthy
I'm the worst person to review music. I don't listen to alternative radio, I don't listen to Top 40. I actually tune in to talk radio on the long commute, or I play compiled CDs hot off the ROM Burner. Still, I have inadvertently found (on Napster, at my Belle's urgings) one of the most sex-positive musical outpourings I've listened to since Kate Bush sang:
"Well it could be love,
Or it could be just lust,
But it will be fun.
It will be wonderful."
(The Kick Inside, "Feel It")
I am the worst sort of music reviewer, because I only listen to what makes me want to sing. With that caveat, here is Gaia Consort:
"I don't need a savior to keep me from tumbling
I'll only kneel for my lover's delight
I don't need a church man to show me what's holy
When I see you in the doorway surrounded in light."
(Gaia Circles, "Just Because")
Their crunchy-granola name might lead some to expect lots of New Agey chanting about dolphins and incessant drum solos. This is not the case. I am as cynical about that stuff as your basic New Yorker -- but this stuff touches my soul and makes my heart dance.
You may ask, "What does this have to do with sex?" Well, each and every song here resonates with a fundamental sexual energy, a kind of sexual spirituality that honors the feminine and the masculine,and that reaches into the world of polyamory, like the lyrics from "Move to the Country" (with a half-a-dozen lovers!):
"We'll be totally independent, we'll be off the grid
'cept for the solar power we'll sell back to the Feds
And we'll make some halfway decent art
Between the gardening and the sex."
(Gaia Circles, "Move to the Country")
These people don't just like sex, they revere it as a sacrament:
"Every act of love and pleasure is a prayer along the way
With everything between the living Earth and Sky
When it's all of life we treasure through the endless spinning days
In our actions you will know us by and by."
(Gaia Circles, "The Rede")
Sex is everywhere in their music, and that is a wonderful thing, but the fact that they are not dreary, Gothic pagans celebrating death and doom, or Goddess Monotheist anti-sexual pagans who are leaving behind the masculine divine is even better.
Now, the words are important, but the music is also beautiful. Heather Alexander's haunting violin suffuses the tunes with a folk grounding, while Christopher Bingham's vocals and strumming bring a wild strength. Sue Tinney's vocals are an even match to Christopher's, Goddess to his God -- each lacking without the other.
Gaia Consort has their own Web site complete with MP3's for easy access. I personally heard their stuff first on Napster and immediately had to order the disc. Put it on for your lover and dance naked together.
Review ©2001 by Gwydion McCarthy
Gwydion McCarthy is a priest of the Church of the Glistening Labia
and dwells in the land of Unresolved Sexual Tension, also know as Southern USA.