sun 03/07/2022

folk music

The Weather Station, Scala review - communion achieved against the odds

Acknowledging the contrast between personal and public situations, The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman says “I have a lot of songs about not being heard, yet I’m holding this microphone.” An individual’s voice can be ignored, but if it’s given a...

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Album: Jenny Hval - Classic Objects

Norwegian artist Jenny Hval is a novelist as well as a singer-songwriter, and her new album certainly has a literary approach to music making.Classic Objects is made of up little stories set to music - standalone units of narrative outside of the...

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Album: Cécile McLorin Salvant - Ghost Song

When 2020 MacArthur Fellow and three-time Grammy Award winner Cécile McLorin Salvant previewed some of the material from her forthcoming album to an enraptured audience at Cadogan Hall as part of last year’s EFG London Jazz Festival, you sensed that...

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Wuthering Heights, National Theatre review - too much heat, not enough light

“If you want romance,” the cast of Emma Rice’s new version of Wuthering Heights say in unison just after the interval, “go to Cornwall.” They’re using the modern definition of romance, of course – Emily Brontë’s novel is full of the original meaning...

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Album: Andy Bell - Flicker

Ride guitarist Andy Bell has clearly been busy since the release of his solo debut, 2020’s The View From Halfway Down. As well as getting his Space Station instrumental touring show up and running, he’s found time to record a sprawling, 18-track...

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Album: Le Vent du Nord - 20 Printemps

What a joyous album for a grey winter’s day, any day in fact – a celebration of 20 springs by Le Vent du Nord, a wonderful five-piece band that hails from frigid Quebec and who make it their business to explore and collect the folk music of French-...

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Album: Spell Songs II – Let the Light In

The first set of Spell Songs, The Lost Words, was inspired by nature writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris’s spell-spinning mission to bring back those ‘lost words’ from the natural world that had been excised from children’s...

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Folk, Hampstead Downstairs review - thoughtful play about folklorist Cecil Sharp

Cecil Sharp, heritage hero or imperialist appropriator? If you attended school in the first half of the 20th century, you would have sung from his collections of English folk songs, and probably gritted your teeth and performed the country dances he...

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Albums of the Year 2021: Eliane Elias - Mirror Mirror

After watching so many gigs through a computer screen, it was a joy to hear live music again in familiar haunts – from Ronnie Scott’s and the Southbank to Grand Junction, Paddington – in 2021. It made you appreciate anew not only the high-wire...

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Albums of the Year 2021: Katherine Priddy - The Eternal Rocks Beneath

Katherine Priddy’s debut album came out in the summer, and it’s remained a high point for the rest of the year as 2021 plays out to the sombre drums and drones of resurgent pandemic warnings, fresh lockdowns, closed venues, silenced auditoriums. Her...

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First Person: Harpist Rachel Newton on creating music to accompany two well-loved books celebrating nature, poetry and magic

I am fortunate to be one of the musicians involved in Spell Songs, a musical companion piece to both The Lost Words and The Lost Spells by acclaimed author Robert Macfarlane and award-winning illustrator and author Jackie Morris.There have been...

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The Men They Couldn't Hang, Powerhaus Camden review - raucous farewell to the fallen

To clarify: this is less a review, more a dispatch from a raucous wake. We all have a band that means something extra. Mine is The Men They Couldn't Hang, who I saw on Saturday night at the Powerhaus in Camden for the umpteenth time.I first came...

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