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CD Reviews

Wilde Roses - Wilde Roses (Blood and Desire)

Anna Tam and Emily Alice Ovenden members of Mediaeval Babes, follow their muse to folk infused with Elizabethan ballad spirit. The duos vocals are beautiful. The accompaniment is period, courtly early dance music that is gentle and touched by the dark edge of The Third Ear Band. Sublime. (MH)

Star rating: 
4

Ash Gray - Chicken Wire (Labelship Records)

Texan songwriter Ash Gray now relocated to Sheffield in the UK brings together Yorkshire and Austin Texas musicians. The resulting album blends Country and an undercurrent of 60s Psych music. The cosmic cowboy of Texas blended with the gritty Folk Troubadour of the UK. Chickenwire is a pleasing mix...

Star rating: 
5

Miriam Cooke - Freefalling (First Night Records)

Miriam Cooke has a clear voice with the purity and power of Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell or Joan Baez. The arrangements are simple giving her singing space to shine through and shine gloriously it does. Miriam makes it sound so simple, so effortless and so perfect. On songs like Freefalling and...

Star rating: 
4

Blackbeard’s Tea Party - Leviathan EP (Self Release)

Adrenaline-fuelled Ceilidh folk with attitude from York's finest, as they take their swashbuckling shenanigans aboard The Diamond, whilst hard rocking the title track along the gangplank. It's party time with whaling songs, and a fun time guaranteed for all me hearties. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Deer Park Ranger - Bottom of the Ocean (Fluttery Records)

Highly personal minimalist musings courtesy of Trevor Humphrey in his first full-length album project under the guise of Deer Park Ranger. If not specifically music for airports, then certainly music for submarine base lounges. Also ideal for personal reflection in our own favourite spaces. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Lydian Collective - Adventure (Lydian)

Adventurous London-based quartet creating uplifting melodies right before our ears. Building on a jazz framework, Lydian Collective take the music on new journeys with unfussy yet thoroughly engaging musicianship, reminiscent of some of Prog Rock's finer moments in places. (AW)

Star rating: 
4

Raging Twilight - Raging Twilight (Self Release)

Former Greenmantle founder Jack Law's current vehicle, delivering mild-tempered rock with the occasional blues flurry. Not sure I was aware of any raging here, although I empathise with the approaching of twilight. I suspect the band's forte is in their live performances. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Ian Roland - The Valley EP (Self Release)

Ian Roland's passionate vocal recall The Housemartins ernest intelligent pop especially when supported by the trios beautiful harmonies. Fine Fiddle, Cello and Guitar arrangements. Three interesting players and Nigel Stonier's production ensures that three songs aren't nearly enough. (MH)

Star rating: 
4

Nic Norton and The Country Band - Brief Lives EP (Self Release)

Songs on this EP remind me vocally and compositional of early Al Stewart. The fleet fingered guitar and wry observational writing updated from Bedsitter Images to stories of cosmopolitan 21st Century life, Paul Keeler's Parisian Cafe violin enlivens it further. (MH)

Star rating: 
3

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