OMG -- when I wasn't looking, Sundown came out! Time for a burble.
I first encountered Sassafrass a few years ago at Arisia, and was blown away. Unlike the usual filk, they perform the music of Ada Palmer: complex harmonized a capella with far more depth than you'll usually encounter.
And I heard several tracks from their then-upcoming album, Sundown, which apparently came out sometime last year. Sundown is unlike anything else you'll ever find: the core Norse myths retold as an intricate a capella opera. I've been waiting for the full album ever since, and it's brilliant. (For those who have heard Sassafrass' previous albums: this one's different. Studio-quality, with proper mixing and everyone really practiced. This is what the music *should* sound like, and which the previous, mostly-live albums could only aspire to.)
I love the whole album, but particular standouts include:
- "My Brother, My Enemy" (a bitter duet for Odin and Loki)
- "Hearthfire" (beautiful and heartbreaking)
- "Ice and Fire" (a duet for dueling Eddas, the entire history of the universe in 11 minutes -- this one is hilarious live, with Powerpoint presentation in the background)
- "The Futhark Song" (essentially the traditional alphabet song, for Futhark)
Also notable is the album Make Them All Real, which is a bunch of their other songs, remastered from their rough earlier albums. It's not quite as polished as Sundown, but includes "Somebody Will", which I generally think of as *the* anthem of classic science fiction -- a beautiful, melancholy song of the patience required to build the future. And several other lovely songs, including the period Ideo Gloria: it's also well worth getting.
Check it out, and spread the word...