sat 24/08/2019

folk music

Josienne Clarke, Green Note review - world-class melancholia hits its mark

It’s been a period of upheaval and change for singer-songwriter, and compelling interpreter of traditional ballads, Josienne Clarke. These days she’s a Rough Trade artist, now sailing solo seas away from her long-time musical partner, producer and...

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CD: Bon Iver – i,i

If you’ve been paying attention, you might have already heard most if not all of Bon Iver’s curiously named i,i album – weeks before its physical release on August 30. The band debuted two tracks (“Hey Ma” and “U (Man Like)”) at London’s All Points...

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CD: Karine Polwart - Karine Polwart's Scottish Songbook

As a recent exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland showed, attempting to tell the history of Scottish popular music in an afternoon – or on one single album – is no mean feat. Though Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook covers project spans...

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Josh Ritter, Union Chapel review - strong songs and a boyish smile

Josh Ritter is in his early forties. He has a two-decade career with 10 studio albums (and, incidentally, a First World War novel) to his name. He has come a long way from trying out open mic nights in Providence, Rhode Island. His albums now...

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Florence + the Machine, BST Hyde Park review - mastering the matriarchy

It’s a rare thing that musicians sound better live than they do on Spotify. But Florence Welch sings a note perfect set – even when jumping up and down like a pogo stick, whirling and spinning, or sprinting along the front of the stage to meet fans....

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Reissue CDs Weekly: John Renbourn

Although British folk-jazz stylists Pentangle played their first official concert in May 1967, their name is borrowed for the title of Unpentangled, a box set of their guitarist John Renbourn’s work on album which kicks off two years earlier. It’s...

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CD - The Lost Words: Spell Songs

Earlier this year, eight musicians – Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Kerry Andrew, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter and Jim Molyneux – set about working with the ‘spell songs’ of nature writer Robert Macfarlane and the images from...

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Midsommar review - hell is other people

Who would have thought that Ari Aster could top the satanic delights of Hereditary? Yet with Midsommar, a psychedelic twist on folk horror, he has. Aster abandons the supernatural to show that it’s not things that go bump in the night that scare us...

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CD: Foy Vance - From Muscle Shoals

Endlessly gigging Northern Irish performer Foy Vance's profile first rocketed after touring with fellow singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. The pair became pals, Vance went onto support the likes of Elton John, and signed to Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man...

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LSO, Guildhall School, Rattle, Barbican review - irresistible momentum

The Barbican Hall hardly boasts the numinous acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral for which Vaughan Williams composed his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, but Sir Simon Rattle has long known how to build space into the architecture of what he...

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CD: Bedouine - Bird Songs of a Killjoy

With her timeless vocals and jazz-inflected folk melodies, it feels like a bit of Los Angeles songwriter Bedouine lives in the golden age of Hollywood. It’s a dichotomy she goes as far as to address on “Echo Park”, a woozy Sunday morning wander...

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Bob Dylan Special - Rolling Thunder Revue, Netflix

Tomorrow, Martin Scorsese delivers, via Netflix, two hours and 22 minutes of screen time devoted to Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, following on from the release last week of the latest Bootleg Series boxed set, 14 CDs covering five full concerts...

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