rock 'n' reel magazine

RnR Magazine May/June 2020

de subjectivisten - Netherlands

Jan Willem Broek

You are never too old to make your debut, several artists have already proven that.  And sometimes some maturing actually only benefits the music.  Music with a story.  That certainly applies to Robert Severin.  This Scottish singer-songwriter is a child of Hungarian refugees, who met in Scotland in 1956. Robert in turn met his Scottish wife in Budapest in 1989.  So he has a connection with that city and Hungary for several reasons.  Driven by the love for music, inspired by his father, but also by a postcard, which he finds in a second-hand bookshop.  His years of songwriting have now resulted in the album Postcard From Budapest.  From the first note you have the feeling that you have an instant timeless classic in your hands.  Severin (vocals, guitar, clarinet) has a very pleasant, melancholic singing voice and the music fits in nicely with that.  During a music course he comes into contact with arranger / violinist / singer Innes Watson of the Innotet quartet, which also includes Seonaid Aitken (violin, vocals), Patsy Reid (viola) and Alice Allen (cello).  They accompany his imaginative beautiful songs in a beautiful mood.  They are all engaging and often moving stories, which are taken from life and therefore come across as sincere and pure.  Yet there is a melancholy varnish all over it, which I think is of incredible added value, especially because nothing is fake.  That means that even the most accessible pieces get a rough edge.  The music evokes associations with Nick Drake, Brett Anderson, Peter Hammill, Syd Barrett, Owain Phyfe, Power Of Dreams and even The Beatles, but still sounds quirky.  Severin delivers an incredibly beautiful musical photo album, in which you want to keep browsing. Jan Willem Broek, De Subjectivisten, Week 34

Roots Time - Belgium

The most special record of this series is probably from Robert Severin, a Hungarian by origin, but born in the UK - his parents met in Scotland when they were both fleeing the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 - singer-songwriter, who here makes his debut with a record on which he, in eleven songs, tells a number of stories that connect his native country with that of his parents. It goes without saying that you end up with WWII, when the Germans kept more than ugly houses in the Jewish neighborhoods. Where opener “Red Shades of Blue” still deals with a love that may never have been consumed (a never sent postcard from the Jewish Julia Spitzer to the Englishman Morris Levison in Bornemouth, with the only words in Hungarian the translation of “Do You Love Me?), That was the reason for making the record. People like Jane Haining, who refused to return to Scotland when the war was raging, but who wanted to stay with "her" institution girls and was eventually taken to Auschwitz by the Gestapo and died there, were the model for "Star in The Shadow". A heroine like singer Vali Rácz, who at the risk of her own life hid a number of Jewish friends from the Nazis, was the model for “Nightingale”, just like the then diva Katalin Karády, on whose story “Time Heals” is based, many held by hands of the Gestapo. 

“Crimson Burned The Night”, is about a Hungarian family, whose mother survived the war, but eventually died on December 21, 1988 in the Lockerbie plane crash and so this CD is full of stories from real life, but for which you have to make a great effort today to be able to imagine that not so long ago, man was capable of atrocities, which are coming again today. That given, in combination with a few very personal songs about his deceased father and mother and their struggle to build a new life in Scotland, and a few songs in which Severin sings about his own difficult and beautiful moments, such as “September”. 89 ”, the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new love on the Danube, make this very quiet record a very beautiful document, with which debutant Severin immediately puts himself on the map.

uni kulturní magazín - czech republic

northern sky reviews

Click for review in Northern Sky Reviews

Click for full review in

New World Folk Sounds - Netherlands

My thanks to Hans van Deelen for his review in New Folk Sounds, Netherlands.

Posted by Robert Severin Music on Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Dunscore Heritage Centre

Dunscore Church and Heritage Centre, Scotland

folk world - Germany