ERLAND AND THE CARNIVAL are a folk-rock supergroup, formed as they were by multi-instrumentalist Simon Tong (The Verve, The Good, The Bad And The Queen) and erstwhile Paul McCartney-collaborator David Nock (The Orb, The Cult, The Fireman) and Orcadian singer Erland Cooper. They mix traditional folk music with Americana, garage and psychedelia, and then steam-roller it with a rollicking fug of analogue Ethiopique keyboards and hypnotic effects to create an engaging, deep and beautiful procession of noise, topped majestically by Orcadian frontman Erland Cooper’s sonorous, vintage voice.
After wowing the critics with their debut album last year, we’re expecting great things from Erland and the Carnival when they release their sophomore album in March.
“The folk baton has found a new and worthy hand” Mojo
“the sound of musicians on an extended honeymoon with each other, barely aware of the delight they instill in their listeners” The Times (Album of the Week)
MARCUS FOSTER is no ordinary singer songwriter, and so he was never going to be quite so easily tempted into the tried and tested route of overnight success and instant fame. “Organic” is an awfully clichéd word, but his slow and stealthy gestation into a new artist of genuine note has nevertheless been just that. When you hear his songs, you realise it could never really have gone any other way. After much anticipation and preparation, his debut EP is finally ready for release. Entitled ‘Tumble Down’, and featuring four tracks rich with languor and melancholic life, it sounds like the work of someone who has been doing this for years, forever. You listen to the four songs here, particularly the slow six-minute burn of the title track and the exquisite ache of Shadows of the City, and at no point do you imagine him to be only 24 years old. These are folk songs and bluesy too, but nobody would ever be able to describe them as “nu”, which, frankly, is a relief. They sound, like many great things, as old as the hills.
HANNAH PEEL, a folk singer, recently released her debut LP ‘The Broken Wave’. Her compositions avoid the conventional verse-chorus-verse form, their restrained melodies giving each its own distinctive charm. They vary in mood, covering subjects from the joy and hope of falling in love through to the pain and loss of betrayal. Peel’s lyrics often have a mysterious, poetic quality. Rather than tackling a subject head-on, she tends to employ allusions and metaphors. Her insights into the break up of relationships display a maturity rare in a 28-year-old. Her voice is her other great asset. Although occasionally reminiscent of other singers, it is unmistakably unique. Crucially, its fragile beauty ideally conveys the longing and yearning contained within the complex emotions of the songs.
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