Somewhere Up North – Meet Citizen K (Paraply Records)
Oh there is almost nothing as entrancing than the lonely sound of the trumpet played on the ocean’s (or river’s) edge. The sound sets the scene, the mood, gently takes hold of the emotions and readies us for a personal conversation with the artist.
The singer combines the delicate detachment of the European composer with the intimacy of the New Folk balladeer, sometimes within the same song we are taken from comfortable living rooms, just us and the man and his guitar, and swooped up, flying across vast expanses of territory, long silent roads and majestic mountains.
These are whispered tales of fragile yet dazzling relationships doing harmonic battle with an scratchy cinematic twitch and glare. There are hidden treasures in the details within the words and visceral arrangements. A rare delight is taken in the addition of a piano riff there, an organ twirl here, seductive spoonfuls of colour, dropped in, then mixed perfect, calm, till the result is a sigh and a dream.
This is one of those albums, that while you are listening to it, you want to start all over again as soon as possible, so that you can discover yet another thought, another texture, another revelation.
This independent beauty can be filed along side Grizzly Bear and The Low Anthem as one of the best folk/alt country releases this year.
Find out more here
And listen to tracks from this album on the NBT Podcast
Another Last Call – Doug Folkins (Independent Release)
There is something very Nick Lowe/Dave Edmunds about this new collection from songwriter Folkins, something very good, very pure and very in love with good Pop.
The opening track (and single) Calico Girl drifts from the speakers in a breezy Beatles like harmonica, a subtle uncomplicated tune wrapped around lyrics that penetrate deeper into the psyche than realized.
Comparisons have been made to the folkpunk ‘n’ pop of the Pogues and indeed there is that barroom swagger and glee in a lot of the tracks, which added to the vibrancy of the Levellers at their best, let the tragic edges of human behavior colour murk and heart, light and shade to the bounciest of tunes.
And just when the old time pub songs threaten to get slightly too much for modern rock ears, Folkins craftily adds dollops of blues guitar and tiny tinges of modern Americana to his solid creations making this a truly international sounding release.
Find out more here
And hear trax from this album on the NBT Podcast