Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Short lines - a journey with UK folk and Americana

It is fairly easy to follow the big picture but even easier to fail to recognise, let alone even hear or see live, quite what is happening at home. This is a journey through some of that territory because the UK is taking it aboard with relish, sometimes abandon.
This first is the oldest of the three releases that I am planning to mention here. It was released last year.

Angelina - Vagabond Saint (Wonderful Sound, 2 December 2016).

Angelina the artist is named for a Dylan song and this is an album of dust-bowl country blues with a voice to match.  There are tales of high plains and endless trains...  that is all the more remarkable for the fact that she has lived her life and the album was recorded on The Isle Of Wight. It is yet another astonishing omission from my list of 'albums of 2016'. It's tough but this might just be one of my favourite songs, at least today.

Jump forward to 2017 and here are two other acts that have come to my attention. In both cases they take a distinct tack through what should really be regarded as well-charted waters.
This duo had been plying their own solo careers around the smaller live stages in London until their paths crossed and they decided to become writing, recording and performing entity Ferris & Sylvester, comprising Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester. There is a lot of 60s and 70s influence on show here 
but never to the point of pastiche; they claim that songwriting must be truthful and honest, even if that is hard to do. It's quite possible to believe that they really mean what they say.

Ferris and Sylvester - The Yellow Line (self-released, 22 June 2017).

I shall end this short tour with another EP, this one from London artist Jade Bird. She does nothing whatsoever to hide her love for Americana folk. The five tracks here run to only just fifteen minutes but it's a determined pitch.

Jade Bird - Something American (Glassnote, 6 July 2017).

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