The Missing Season: To the Fire


For many music fans the Brittany city of Rennes is synonymous with the annual Trans Musicales festival. The Missing Season make a strong case for a rethink. Their second album draws on a folk tradition, but not one that’s local. They might as well be from the States, so in thrall are they to a vision of Americana. All in English, To The Fire is utterly and extraordinarily un-French. It’s a pity they’re French, as the knowledge of their origin colours the reaction to To The Fire.
On a county-slanted line between Low and Vetiver, The Missing Season also bear shades of Neil Young and The Rain Parade. Lap steel, violin and banjo figure in the line up. Nicolas Gautier’s vocals on 'Isolated' are even American accented. 'Black Bride' is textbook Appalachian gothic. The Cohen Brothers could borrow it for a soundtrack and nobody would blink. The baroque 'The Last Gift Of Corelia' has a standout string arrangement. Over its 14 songs, the sharply produced To The Fire reveals the Missing Season as utterly assured, at home with who they are.
The Missing Season fit in with little that’s French right now. But of course, that is the point. Not parochial and more than a musical non sequitur, they’re out on a limb.
© Kieron Tyler