I’ve been feeling pretty detached recently, uncomfortable and bored with modern life… I’m barely functioning. Having withdrawn to my bedroom in the hope I might find some sort of salvation, Irish folk singer Carol Anne McGowan was the best kind of discovery, the kind that fills my heart with warmth. Liar for Love is a haunting, hypnotising track that I almost didn’t share because I wanted to keep it to myself. Her voice feels reassuringly familiar, understated and timeless. It’s not the kind of music that demands the spotlight, but it sure deserves it.
Evelyn Taylor Hiatt and Nicholas Frampton make up Nashville, Tennessee based folk-wave duo Field Division. Their blissful music runs high on soulful harmonies and rapturous textures, occupying the gulf between the likes of Feist, Bon Iver, Other Lives and Rumours era Fleetwood Mac. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, the vast natural landscape, valleys and rivers of their hometown exert a powerful influence over their sound, producing a grand and expansive effect.
Faultines is exquisite and elegantly arranged. A delicately woven tapestry of guitars, keys and tribal-esque beats carve out an off-kilter, upbeat groove, echoing the triumphant gallop of Ennio Morricone – this is prairie music of the highest order. Hiatt’s enchanting, bittersweet, hook-laden vocals float on a wave of reverb luring you in like a siren – you won’t be able to resist. A flawless opening statement from a band with far-reaching appeal.
Manchester based musician Sophie Galpin has had an interesting career these last few years, being involved with two local success stories PINS (drums) and Embers (violin). With that in mind, I was excited to discover this relatively unheard solo material from the multi-instrumentalist on soundcloud, which is devastatingly good.
Trouble is a masterclass in songwriting: beautifully structured with subtle orchestration and a voice that shines throughout.
Lucy & The Caterpillar is a name you might be familiar with, having been a regular around the Manchester music scene a few years ago, earning herself much mainstream press in the process. I always feared she might find herself being pigeonholed as “twee” but after taking a two year hiatus from her musical project, she’s thankfully added depth and maturity to her songwriting. With new material being promised, this demo of Roads shows her vocals to be more refined and her lyrics more intimate. An impressive return.
Elin Rossiter, a blossoming Manchester folk singer, now going by the name Elle Mary has posted her most beautiful song yet in Ghost. Honing her craft at regular night The Folk Cellar, her voice has the same timeless qualities that saw a young Laura Marling propelled into the spotlight. This accomplished track is remarkable for its ability to articulate heartbreak, and on a personal note, this song has really affected me. I’ve found myself unable to leave it alone.
“don’t be startled by the sudden silence. it’s just getting you in the mood”
Elle Mary will be performing at:
KOSMONAUT / 15TH AUGUST / 8PM / MANCHESTER, UK
THE LOST CHURCH / 23RD AUGUST / 8PM / SAN FRANCISCO, USA
I have been following Brighton’s Eyes & No Eyes since they began as the solo project of frontman Tristram Bawtree. Developing into a full band shows a clear progression from early records. Their debut single, If No One Else Saw It (Willkommen Records), is five minutes of somewhat experimental folk music, drawing on their folk origins with the addition of a neo-classical string arrangement and noise inspired guitar work.
With ‘If No One Else Saw It’ Eyes & No Eyes are firmly in place as part of the Willkommen Collective. Their first album is due for release later this year, alongside talks of an experimental EP.