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In Bright Field, The Rheingans Sisters have created an album bursting with worldly joys and shot through with intimate sorrow and wisdom.
The Rheingans Sisters are unquestionably the real deal. A resident of Toulouse, Anna is an expert in the traditional music of her adopted homeland; a fact backed up by the first class diploma she recently acquired from the Conservatoire Occitan. Rowan, who has previously collaborated with Nancy Kerr, Gwyneth Glyn and was part of the Songs of Separation project, is a long-time member of firm FRUK favourites Lady Maisery, whose 2016 album Cycle was one of the highlights of that year. Bright Field is their third album as a duo, after Glad Gold Hearts (2013) and Already Home (2015), which led to them winning ‘Best Original Track’ (for Mackerel) at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. It is also their first collection of newly composed music and expands on their impressive blueprint [ . . . ]
Wild and rebellious British folk band enter adolescence with a howl of song and a glint in the eye.
How strange it is that folk music is so often hampered by politeness, when its subjects are life, death, murder and sex. Subtlety has its values, of course, but it’s still rare to hear a folk artist strain at the leash, bare their teeth. Enter Trembling Bells, one decade and six albums old, about to enter adolescence with a glint in the eye.
Still pivoting around the wild writing and playing of singing drummer, Alex Neilson (recently the percussionist on Shirley Collins’s Lodestar) and the extraordinary soprano of Lavinia Blackwall, Trembling Bells have always sounded quite beholden to their late 1960s influences, recreating Fairport Convention’s longing loveliness or the Incredible String Band’s whimsy without whipping up something of their own. But Dungeness plunges us into louder, darker territories. Named after the shingly Kent headland to which the band made a trip, Neilson said the place felt like the end of the world, and this album’s themes follow suit. The music is a mixture of avant-garde racket and crossover doom-pop potential – fans of PJ Harvey, Nick Cave or Nadine Shah will find entertainments here.
Big Nothing begins softly but bleakly, with a man who can’t be knocked down (since he’s “already on the ground”), and ends with a spiralling, smile-raising, out-of-tune squeal. Death Knocked at My Door is belly-deep soul fed through a folk-horror filter. Knocking on the Coffin is utterly fantastic, a wah-wah-pedal headbanger tailor-made for an Italian horror film, while I’m Coming sees Blackwall’s singing climax wildly. A technically gifted singer who can obviously hit every note perfectly, she lets the seams tear and split here, and the results are addictive [ . . . ]
Read More at Source: THE GUARDIAN Folk album of the month – Trembling Bells: Dungeness
FOLK RADIO UK
The Ballad of Shirley Collins soundtrack is a great springboard to find out more. It is also an anthology, or a miscellany, that whilst having a foot back in time – sixty years ago and even before that – it also has a foot in the present [ . . . ]
Read Full Review: The Ballad Of Shirley Collins (Soundtrack) | Folk Radio UK
The Hobbledehoy doesn’t like this stinker from Mr. Bugg. Read the review from The Guardian. They don’t like it much either.
Five years ago, this acerbic singer-songwriter was transparently a major talent when, aged just 18, his debut album topped the UK chart and went on to go double-platinum. Inevitably, he was even hailed as the new Dylan. World domination appeared assured.
Half a decade down the line, Jake Bugg’s career trajectory is noticeably less spectacular. His record sales have slumped; there have been missteps. His third album, On My One, saw him unwisely dabbling in dance beats and even hip-hop. His latest, the country-hued Hearts That Strain, was recorded in Nashville with veteran studio musicians who backed Elvis and Wilson Pickett.
Such creative restlessness would usually be laudable, but in Bugg’s case the effect seems to have been to shear off the urgency and the rough edges that initially made him such a compelling artist [ . . . ]