The Queen of Hearts
Offa Rex - The Queen of Hearts
Critic Score
Based on 8 reviews
2017 Ratings: #17 / 711
User Score
Based on 68 ratings
2017 Ratings: #229
July 14, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Nonesuch / Label
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The Independent

The result, recorded by electro-acoustic production genius Tucker Martine, is The Queen Of Hearts, a sublime collection of old songs given contemporary heart transplants without ever betraying their essential original truth and spirit.

Like a lot of great records, it's imbued with the magic of hearing the musicians and the singer mid-process of figuring things out or having just nailed it.
Meloy and Chaney's genuine love for the source material is apparent throughout, and while it may not bring anything too new to the table, it still makes for a delicious spread.
The Guardian
She has a magical voice, full of heft, soul and sunlight, reminiscent of Sandy Denny and Maddy Prior, while feeling refreshingly heartfelt and true. Add Colin Meloy’s brilliant band, and this collection of traditional songs sounds stirringly new.
The band harkens many of the British folk revival’s signposts and key figures, adeptly bringing their own flair to their influences.
Tiny Mix Tapes

There is something shimmering, cold, and tender in these songs. There are also moments of rock vigor that are the flip side to folk’s gentleness.


Music so clear and quaint seems an anachronism in a world where glitz and grooves are used to woo the masses. Subtlety is practically extinct. As a result, The Queen of Hearts demands a patient listen and a willing ear. Happily, this clear appreciation for folk nobility reaps its rewards.

Jan 10, 2018
Fairly uninspired
Dec 30, 2017
✔ “The Garderner”, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Flash Company", "The Old Churchyard", "Bonny May" and "To Make You Stay"
✘ n/a
Dec 18, 2017
I enjoyed the album, but it only makes me want to listen to The Decemberists more, not Offa Rex.
Nov 20, 2017
"The Queen of Hearts" is billed as a collaboration of classic British folk songs between The Decemberists and rising English artist Olivia Chaney, but to someone unfamiliar with the original songs, it basically sounded like a Decemberists album with a new frontperson -- which is precisely why I like it. Chaney, who I'd never heard of before, plays her part spectacularly, her strong and nimble voice matching all the contours of the sprawling arrangements, paying respect to these songs ... read more
Sep 21, 2017
When it's good, it's really good!

But too often it is just kind of okay. Shame.
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Track List
  1. The Queen of Hearts
  2. Blackleg Miner
  3. The Gardener
  4. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
  5. Flash Company
  6. The Old Churchyard
  7. Constant Billy (Oddington) / I'll Go Enlist (Sherborne)
  8. Willie o' Winsbury
  9. Bonny May
  10. Sheepcrook and Black Dog
  11. To Make You Stay
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton, philthy

Added on: June 1, 2017