Clutching at Straws
Come What May
added: 7 Dec 2013
// release date: 16 Dec 2013 // label: Straw
reviewer: Andy Snipper
It takes a rare quality to make folk music sound fresh and new – over the years we have heard just about every variation and strand and so many are striving to be heard that the simplicity and honesty of the music is often lost. Clutching At Straws somehow manage to return the music to a more innocent state – music played for the joy of it and with integrity and yet still imbued with meaning and viewpoint.
This isn’t music without complexity – the interplay of voices and the different strands of the instrumentation create a rich texture to the music but one that you can strip apart and hear all the individual elements if you should so wish – it is only when they all come together that the music takes on the richness and intensity.
Between the talents of James Baskett on cello, James Wheeler and Thomas Simm on guitars and Jake Mahal on the Cajon they conjure some natural and impassioned sounds, loaded with harmonies. When you add in Dan Walsh’s banjo, as they do on ‘Look At You Now’ they move the music into a more naturalistic mode.
'Love Lost Sold' has a haunting loveliness that is intensely dark and harsh at the same time - simply a great track.
The music and the songs celebrate the political and philosophical freedoms that the band claim through their use of an archaic form and the whole thing is utterly listenable.
Highly recommended for those who like music that means what it says.
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