Folk Radio UK Top 100 Albums of 2020
-Allysen Callery
Folk Radio UK -Top 100 of 2020

ALBUM OF THE YEAR -GHOST FOLK (2020)-Guteshoerenistwichtig

“The songstress from Rhode Island dedicated their new album to Nick Drake, the November man. “Naked trees and the promise of ice overnight”, so she lures to the frosty rendezvous, “meet me there, gray as a ghost.” They are not threatening demons that Callery conjures up in a distant voice as if from an echo chamber; rather, their spirits seem familiar and do not hide any horror for them. And if they do, then of all things their beauty serves as a warning signal. As with the monarch butterfly, which is “full of poison”, but flutters as an eye-catcher “so lovely and bright” that it is not stalked. Allysen Callery underpins her solemn singing with fine fingerpicking, which in the case of “In Your Perfumed Chambers” doesn’t need a voice at all to create its own mood. ”

Rolling Stone Germany, issue 317, March 2021, p. 82

“Ghost Folk casts a mesmerising spell, impossible to resist.”
Folk Radio UK

“Somehow she seems to come from somewhere else. Travelled through the clouds or gone through the stones. Her music is neither spooky nor eerie, but rather surrounded by a kind of positive mysticism and a familiar strangeness, radiating charm and a generous flair.”-

“Allysen Callery has five albums and three Ep to her credit, but this magnificent “Ghost Folk” is her artistic peak, the record of her consecration, if anyone still has doubts about her artistic qualities. It is pure poetry, an enchantment from the first to the twelfth song, then there is that cover where ours seems to want to turn the light on itself, as if to pray that her proposal deserves to be taken into strong consideration”


Terrascope Magazine (UK)

“Allysen is an artist with an ear for a good tune and a delicate touch – “the sound of a petal lifted by a warm breeze, the poetic lyrics delivered with sensual passion over the gossamer fine guitar notes,” we enthusiastically wrote at the time. The only question really is why it’s taken so long for us to feature her in print, so when Josh Burkett – who many readers will fondly remember from the Woolf 1 festival back in 2013, and still others may recall from the mighty Vermonster – offered us the chance of an interview, you will readily understand why we bit his hand off, so to speak.”

Interview by Joshua Burkett for Terrascope Magazine Feb 2019

– full interview here: 

OndaRock (Italy)
“In her most arcane and evocative EP, Allysen Callery dispenses some of her most bewitching spells.”
translated from the original Italian
” Nella sua prova più arcana ed evocativa, Allysen Callery dispensa alcuni tra i suoi più ammalianti sortilegi.”
OndaRock Sept 2017

Dynamite Hemorrhage
“Situated midway between Shirley Collins and Sibylle Baier , Providence Rhode Island’s Allysen Callery is the most bewitching and beguiling modern folk singer/guitarist you’ve likely yet to hear . Her excellent new mini CD what “recorded in a greenhouse by the edge of the woods with natural birdsong, frog and cricket jams” (it’s true ) you can hear every slide up the strings and every knock on the body of her acoustic guitar in full , ringing finger style sound . No bluffing, no-frills, and a voice shaped by the Creator for singing.”- Dynamite Hemorrhage (2017)
print version

Folk Radio UK

New England singer-songwriter Allysen Callery is back with an outstanding new release, a bright sounding recording with flashes of welcome darkness.The five songs on “Prince’s Pine” are particularly sparse, with lyrics kept to a minimum, with the songwriter observing human nature as if peeking out from the woods adjacent to the woodland studio where they were recorded.”- Ken Abrams Folk Radio UK

The Bay Magazine
“For those who are new to the music of Allysen Callery, I’d recommend starting with either her newest release, The Song the Songbird Sings, produced by local music legend Bob Kendall, or her 2012 release The Summer Place, on the European label Woodland Recordings. Both records showcase Allysen’s austere acoustic guitar and clear, unadorned voice – an intimate sound that, when played through good speakers, captures the feeling of sitting in a quiet room across from her as she plays. Her music seems to speak from a different era, while maintaining its emotional immediacy. It’s music of solitude and contemplation.”-Adam Hogue/The Bay Magazine

The Bay Magazine 5/11/2017

Fatea (UK) ” Allysen’s music often seems familiar from somewhere you can’t quite place, the ghost of a song you might know perhaps, and also in that she sings almost exclusively in a tender, hushed tone, if not exactly pianissimo. However, this doesn’t mean her music lacks expression, or that her writing lacks substance. Her music doesn’t need to shout or force an entry into your mind; it casts its oblique spell without overwhelming the sound picture.”

Fatea 01/04/2017

Ondarock (Italy)
“Libri, piante, ombre, luci e gatti: non esita a tradire la cornice domestica, l’eAllysen Callery, voce tra le più peculiari e affascinanti dell’attuale panorama folk statunitense.”
(Books, plants, shadows, lights and cats: do not hesitate to betray the domestic setting, the daily essence, profoundly earthly of his inspiration, Allysen Callery, voice of the most unique and fascinating of the American folk scene.)
Ondarock 9/9/2016

Providence Monthly- The Song the Songbird Sings
“Songbird… continues in the ethereal tradition of Allysen’s previous records. With fingers dancing across acoustic strings and that voice, lovely and straight-out-of-Lothlorien otherworldly, Allysen stands out from the area’s predominantly roots and Americana styled folk scene. Tracks like “Bluest Bird” and “Snow Fox” harken back to traditional British folk, though “Shoot Me” has her putting a bluesy-twist on her ghost whisper vocals.”

Providence Monthly May 19, 2016

Folk Radio UK- The Song the Songbird Sings
““Ghost Folk” artist Allysen Callery is back with a new release that reaffirms her reputation as a leading singer-songwriter. The Song the Songbird Sings is the Bristol, Rhode Island guitarist’s first full length album since Mumblin’ Sue, her outstanding 2013 release that caught the ear of American and European audiences. The new release highlights her trademark British folk revival sound of the 60’s and 70’s which this time includes layers of sonic colour from guitar wiz Bob Kendall.”

The Song the Songbird Sings Review & Premiere- May , 2016

Paste Magazine
“When she’s not singing with the sumptuous group Haunt The House, Allysen Callery is bringing back to life the delicate and soul-stirring sounds of the folk revival that swept through the UK in the ‘60s and ‘70s. In fact, her lilting voice and heartfelt lyrics are eerily close to the work of the late British songstress Sandy Denny, the highest compliment I could hand down to this brilliant artist. It’s little wonder then that she has gained a welcome audience in Europe, where she will be touring this coming fall. Now it’s time for folks in her home country to sit up and take notice. ” – Robert Ham for Paste Magazine , July 14, 2014
50 States Project: 10 RI Bands You Should Listen To Now

NPR All Songs Considered-Bob Boilen’s Weekly Rainbows

Listed as one of 40 intriguing unknown artists -picked from 1500

Spotify list included.

The Washington Post

“12. Allysen Callery
A delicate touch
is a valuable asset
in this noisy world”

SXSW acts ranked & reviewed in Haiku form- Chris Richards

Rolling Stone(DE) 3 1/2 stars for
Mumblin’ Sue

“Hätte flackerndes Kerzenlicht eine musikalische Dimension: So könnte sie klingen. ”
“Allysen Callery’s new album is recommended to the hearts of those folk friends who have a soft spot for the silent, wondrous, dreamy.The artist sings about the moon reflecting on the water, committed to walking in the early morning, sheds “tears over joy over the simplest things”. If flickering candlelight has a musical dimension : so it might sound.”

Wolfgang Doebeling-Rolling Stone DE

The Noise-Boston Review of Mumblin’ Sue
75orLess Records
Mumblin’ Sue

“While the hypnotic intertwining of Callery’s fancy finger-picking lulls you into a meditative state, it’s her petal-soft lilt that really does a number on your heart-strings, plucking them with the same fervor as she does her guitar. The music is stoic yet still yearningly bitter-sweet. The lyrics, poetic and steeped in country wisdom, relate stories of heartache seen through sadder-but-wiser eyes. The power isn’t only in the words themselves, but in they way they’re sung—in a melancholy, reverberating sean-nós style. Something tells me she could be singing in Swahili or Cantonese and anyone with ears would still have some idea of what she was singing about.” – Will Barry for The Noise-Boston

The Key- Folkadelphia Session with Allysen Callery
“If I was to use a single word to describe the music of Allysen Callery, it would probably be “timeless,” although a more accurate way to frame her songs is to say they exist “outside of time.” I think that Allysen Callery is writing the ballads that future folklorists will call “classic.” Only time will tell.”
The Key-Fred Knittel/Folkadelphia

Live performance review from PBS special taping “Meet me at The Met
“You have to be enthralled every time Allysen Callery performs with her guitar and angelic voice. She came up and wowed me once again, fitting the bill as being one of the top musicians in The Ocean State. “In The Ring”, “Little Bird That Is Your Name”, “Spare Parts”, “In Your Hollow” and “Minnesota Sunrise” were my favorite songs from Allysen. Every note she plays and lyric she sings has a distinct meaning that’s more than just music and words. Allysen also has an album out called Mumblin’ Sue, another masterpiece from one of Rhode Island’s best that you have to give a listen.” — Rob Duguay,Live performance review from PBS special taping “Meet me at The Met”. Saturday, August 24, 2013

Allysen Callery “Mumblin’ Sue” First listen
“This girl is a monster when it comes to fingerstyle guitar. She is just fantastic, taking a widely used playing style and really developing it into her own, very noticeable and very unique sound. Allysen Callery’s voice is very distinct, almost from a different time and place. The writing also matches the mood of this track, its very pensive, slightly sorrowful, and a little, tiny bit gloomy. But it really conveys that feeling is such a successful way that it doesn’t matter I am feeling a bit saddened, it just matters that Callery’s writing is making me feel something.”
Red Line Roots August 2013

Folk Radio UK
“Portraying moments in fairytale brush strokes, Allysen Callery’s fifth release ‘Mumblin’ Sue’ is yet another new folk gem.” Folk Radio UK, July 11, 2013

GoLocalProv reviews in-store performance at What Cheer? Records (July 4, 2013)

“Allysen Callery is a local treasure who clearly deserves wider recognition. Her new release Mumblin Sue, feels like a breakthrough album. Her finger-style guitar work is top notch. Her lyrics are just on the edge of surreal, slightly off center, and intensely passionate. Sounding a little like early Joni Mitchell, with a voice airy and mystical, she’s a fairy whisperer. But her words speak to the human experience.”
– Ken Abrams for GoLocalProvidence

The Providence Phoenix Reviews Mumblin’ Sue (2013)

“East Bay singer-songwriter-guitarist Allysen Callery returns with another must-hear gem in Mumblin’ Sue (75orLess Records), the follow-up to the companion EPs Winter Island and The Summer Place. As expected, Callery’s new full-length is nothing less than stellar. The alluring, angelic falsetto and engaging lyrics resonate through Allysen Callery’s music more than ever, and a newfound love for (and expert proficiency on) steel strings provide a glowing backdrop for her starry night lullabies.”
Chris Conti for The Providence Phoenix

Providence Phoenix Music Poll Best ACOUSTIC/SINGER-SONGWRITER ACT Allysen Callery

Bristol-based songbird Allysen Callery constructs a unique mélange of psychedelic folk and starry night fairy tales, evidenced in her mesmerizing 2010 self-released full-length, Hobgoblin’s Hat, which garnered some international attention (through platforms like Choice cuts “Tiny Armageddon,” “Button Boots,” and the title track are indeed lullabies to paralyze; the sound is equal parts haunting and cozy. A Berlin-based label released Callery’s 2011 follow-up, the Winter Island EP, another set of stirring folk ballads, with her nylon stringed finger-plucking further complementing the ghostly vocals.”
The Providence Phoenix


“Rhode Island singer-songwriter Allysen Callery recorded a live session at WFMU recently, and this will be aired Saturday, October 1st. Her third release, “Winter Island”, from Woodland Recordings in Berlin, presents her singing and nylon-string guitar playing in beautiful, stark relief, and evokes much the same spirit of the great folk albums of the 1970s. Her songwriting, always poetic, has found an even deeper level, one that conjures not only the flavor of the UK and Irish folk revival but the magic of the old songs themselves.” ~Jeffrey Davison, Shrunken Planet ,

Marissa Nadler reviews Winter Island

“Winter Island is a record that could proudly sit tall next to Sibylle Baier’s Colour Green and Leonard Cohen’s Songs From A Room. It’s impossibly delicate, gorgeously written, and emanates a timeless quality. Callery’s nylon string guitar playing is beautiful, and her voice is indelibly in service of telling each song’s particular story. It’s refreshing to hear such an unpretentious vocal delivery and such carefully honed lyrics. ”

Marissa Nadler for We Listen For You

Oliver di Place writes of Winter Island
“It was said that a bard could cast a spell with just his harp playing and his voice, and the spell would transport the listeners to another world while the song played. Most but not all of the listeners would make it back when the song ended. Callery displays that kind of otherworldly ability here”
Oliver di Place

Arte-Factos of Portugal Interview

“Allysen Callery is a unique artist, that has everything to achieve a superior path. Her amazing voice makes us travel to unknown and dark places, but with a calm so special that we will want to remain there forever. Come listen to this talented voice and you’ll be stranded there ’till forever.”
Read the whole Arte-Factos of Portugal interview here

Fluid Radio UK’s review of Winter Island:

“Intimate, and with a pure voice, delicate guitar picking. Every breath and plucked note by Allysen Callery on these songs is present and in focus…
In fact intimate doesn’t go far enough to describe this music. It sounds as if it’s being played and sung just for you the listener.
This is not traditional folk music but you could easily be forgiven for calling it such. In time maybe it will, or at least should truly become folk music. These are special songs that deserve to be passed from one generation to the next, to be taken to heart and never forgotten.”
Fluid Radio UK

The Providence Phoenix names Hobgoblin’s Hat as one of the Best Local Discs of 2010

“Callery’s finger-picking acoustic skills are trumped only by her gorgeous voice, and her poetic sophomore release (the follow-up to her ’07 debut Hopey) is equal parts entrancing and beautiful. The first three songs (“Tiny Armageddon,” “Jack Jumps Back” and the title track) lure the listener in, surefire lullabies to paralyze. If you still reach for the Mazzy Star disc once in a while, run out and grab Hobgoblin’s Hat right now.”-Chris Conti Best of 2010

Folk Radio UK’s review of Hobgoblin’s Hat:

“A tiny opening into an unknown world, snippets of almost macabre lyrics that seep through the instrumentation like the moonlight through rushes. “Button Boots” ’stiff as a board/light as a feather’ obviously alluding to witchcraft, where in “Jack Jumps Back” ‘bruised by the blush it was a rush of blood’ is a double edged image, innocent romance holding darker connotations. Marissa Nadler and Hope Sandoval are both strong vocal comparisons, and through channelling these Callery’s voice becomes both compelling and transfixing – in this sense Hobgoblin’s Hat is certainly an album to lose yourself in…if only for half an hour. -Folk Radio UK”
Melanie – Folk Radio UK

Call It Folk’s Review of Hobgoblin’s Hat
“Allysen Callery might be the Tim Burton of folk music, her dark songs often transporting us to somewhere otherworldly. Allysen Callery has one of those unmistakable voices, soft and sometimes child-like, supported by fingerpicked nylon string guitar. Her songs lurk about in that airy, brooding, immaginitive space of tigers and kings, the stuff of fairytales. Reminds me of fellow New Englander Marissa Nadler’s songs. Highly recommended”
Call It Folk

Oliver di Place Review of Hobgoblin’s Hat
“If I tell you that Callery’s writing shows her love of fairy tales, I hope you won’t think of Disney movies. Callery knows that fairy tales are richer and stranger than that, and often darker. She conveys a sense of wonder in these songs. Callery also knows that fairy tales convey a full range of human emotions. Like the wonderful illustrations in the Andrew Lang fairy tale collections, Callery’s songs take you to another world. It’s not clear whether that world is within or without, nor should it be.”
Oliver di Place – Oliver di Place

Fluid Radio UK Review of Hobgoblin’s Hat
“Snatches of lyric reveal a dark, dreamy world where all is not quite as it seems and perhaps not entirely un-troubled. Callery weaves her poetic lyrics in a half spoken, half sung, lazy soprano that, through its quiet, detached demeanour, only magnifies the mysterious atmosphere.
If the mark of a good album of songs is that it leaves the listener transformed in some way then, Hobgoblin’s Hat is way beyond simply good.”
Fluid Radio, UK

The Providence Phoenix review of Hobgoblin’s Hat:
“The only aspect of Allysen Callery’s talents more impressive than her nimble, nylon-string finger-picking is her unmistakable voice.”
Chris Conti – The Providence Phoenix

The Providence Phoenix review of Hopey:
“There’s something magical about Allysen Callery’s new album. It has a dreamy quality that feels mysterious and bewitching. The opening tune, “Feathercap,” sounds somewhat like Sandy Denny, with a subtle soprano sweetness. In fact, a British folk influence permeates Hopey”
Bob Gulla – The Providence Phoenix

Terrascope UK’s review of Hopey:
“pick any song and you will enjoy some sweet sadness, soft smiles, and a wonderful glimpse of sunshine. Perfect music for a drive through the desert, or in my case a lazy afternoon in a sunlit lounge”
Simon Lewis – Terrascope,UK

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