The Quietus Reviews | Pentangle

It’s perhaps hard to imagine in today’s pop landscape, but back in the 1960s there was a definite insurrection happening in the folk milieu, a drawing of battle lines about what ‘folk music’ could be. The mindset of the folk revival of the previous decade, one of a reverence for tradition and purism, had fossilised into a stilted dogma of conservatism.

Many of the younger singers and musicians breaking through chafed against what they saw as a parochial and out-of-touch clique.From this unrest rose a triumvirate of folk bands whose musical explorations played a part in causing folk music to slip its traditional shackles and become, in the words of Rob Young in his book on modern British folk music Electric Eden, a “floating signifier to be plucked from the air and appropriated by anyone who could find a suitable framework”.

In one corner there was Fairport Convention, who grafted UK folk to a US country rock sound. In another, you had the likes of The Incredible String Band, whose hippy meanderings across north Africa and Asia resulted in strange instruments, new sounds and a positively kaleidoscopic freak scene of psychedelia.But probably the most beguiling and inscrutable of them all is Pentangle [ . . . ]

Read Full Record Review at: The Quietus | Reviews | Pentangle

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Jon Langford Four Lost Souls

For many musicians, it’s a dream to record in the famed Shoals region with members of the legendary Muscle Shoals recording crew. But Jon Langford was invited to do just that, completely sight-unseen. After producing artwork for an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015, the Welsh musician was invited to come out to Alabama to record by Elvis’s former bassist and member of Muscle Shoals rhythm section, Norbert Putnam.Joined by f

Source: Jon Langford Four Lost Souls

Jake Bugg: Hearts That Strain review – a rootsier return 

Jake Bugg’s last album, On My One (2016),was an ill-advised bid to engage with a new crowd. The Nottingham singer’s fourth set, recorded in Nashville, abandons the rapping and Kasabian-friendly rock in favour of dusty country-folk. Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys contributes to three tracks and Miley Cyrus’s sister Noah duets on Waiting, but Bugg is most convincing when his guests take a back seat. The delicate title track, which evokes Bert Jansch, is rich in imagery and bristles with intent. And though the faster songs are largely throwaway, Bugg is inching closer to a sound that is both familiar and very much his own.

Source: Jake Bugg: Hearts That Strain review – a rootsier return | Music | The Guardian

Personal meets political on Nick Mulvey’s assured sophomore release

Wake Up Now is an exuberant display of exceptional musical talent showing Mulvey’s flair for pairing structural intricacy and sonic intimacy.

In this supposed age of apathy and indifference where a sneering sense of irony increasingly rules the roost, Nick Mulvey’s second album is something of an anomaly: a direct call for the listener to – for want of a better phrase – ‘stay woke’. While the 2014 Mercury Prize-nominated First Mind proved Mulvey to be a musician with intelligence, poise and a distinct talent for simple yet heartfelt odes to love and emotion, his new album Wake Up Now sees him combine the personal with the political to create a sophomore release which is both astute and assured.

Politics have never been far from Mulvey’s consciousness – he is, for example, quoted as having felt “a bit sick” upon learning of former Prime Minister David Cameron’s admiration for him. Yet they have certainly never been closer to his music than on ‘Myela’, a track which tackles the European refugee crisis and seeks to encapsulate the horror of displacement in an unfeeling twenty-first century global milieu: “they’d rather die once in the sea than dying every day a little more”. ‘We Are Never Apart’ is a poignant elegy to both nature and nurture, to caring for the world around us as closely as our fellow humans, and a quiet protest song against fracking. [ . . . ]

Read more at: Personal meets political on Nick Mulvey’s assured sophomore release – The Boar