Navigator Records (label)
29 January 2016 (released)
24 January 2016
Bringing together some of England and Scotland’s finest contemporary folk artists to collaborate on a project reflecting – separation - Jenny Hill has created an album that will please, and possibly enlighten, anyone with an interest in the genre.
From the Syd Barrattish titled Echo Mocks the Corncrake to the Road Less Travelled this album is a wonderful collection of songs that dips in and out and takes in the full breadth of folk music, and then some. There’s what could be considered as traditional such as the acapella Sad The Climbing, the more classical leaning Cleaning the Stones sort of conjures up images of an 18th century Venetian court ensemble, and there’s a touch of the prairies on London Lights with its enchanting by-the-camp-fire-harmonies.
Maybe invidious to pick out highlights from this set but Sad Am I (sung in Gaelic) is both haunting and entrancing as voices and instruments coalesce towards the climax, while the spectral Soil and Soul is a delight as is the jovial Over the Border.
As an introduction to the breadth of female folk talent in England and Scotland you can’t get much better than this album. Those more familiar with the artists will also find much to take from this collection and the themes they explore.