wed 18/09/2019

CD: Kate Rusby - While Mortals Sleep | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Kate Rusby - While Mortals Sleep

CD: Kate Rusby - While Mortals Sleep

'Barnsley Nightingale' recasts carols as attractive, if slightly serious, folk songs

While Mortals Sleep’s mix of folk, Yorkshire and Christmas is never better encapsulated than in the opening song, “Cranbrook”, where “While Shepherd’s Watched” is set to the tune of “On Ilkley Moor Baht ‘At”. With its guitar, accordion and brass band, it’s rootsy and warm, and despite this being one of only a handful of upbeat tracks, Rusby’s voice is vespers soft whilst her accent is as broad as the Dales. The album’s overriding sense of reflection, however, may divide listeners. Some will find it excessively subdued, whilst others, especially folk fans, will marvel at its wholesome beauty. However, if Rusby doesn’t have quite the sense of “joy to the world” she had with 2008’s Sweet Bells, there’s more than enough cosiness on offer here.

There's nothing more fuzzy than the self-penned “Home”, for instance. One of the album’s highlights, it’s just the sort of thing to snuggle up on the sofa to with a glass of mulled wine. Although some of the lesser-known numbers like “Diadem” and “The Wren” feel more like sitting in Church, the “ho-ho-ing” of “Kris Kringle” halfway through brings a welcome note of frivolity to proceedings. And whilst Roy Wood and Wizzard this most certainly isn’t, it’s bound to become a cherished part of many serious music fans’ Yuletide music collection.

Kate Rusby performs "Sweet Bells" on Songs of Praise

Comments

The acoustics are amazing in this video. Compliments her voice so much.

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