The long awaited Around The Well is split into two halves, the first a soft collection of home recordings, the second a spruced up smattering of studio work. Disc one is reminiscent of 2002’s “The Creek Drank The Cradle” in that it is restrained of detail and relies solely on a minimal amount of musical instruments. This gives it a wholesome, stripped down atmosphere, and seeing as all 11 tracks on the first part are unedited and raw, there is nothing to distract from Iron & Wine’s (Sam Beam’s) genius.
Fixing you into a lazy haze-filled melancholy from the get go, Draw Me Stories bring their second album of folk infused ambience, this time with added roots. Following on from their debut The Plugged Sessions, the Welsh troupe unplug and play with their voices and more instrumentation to create a delicious album full of transcendental hymns.
Ah, be still my beating heart! If ever someone was to capture the gentle-giant ethos through music, this is it. The third album by husky baritone troubadour Grant Campbell offers a delicacy which manages to penetrate the most heavy hearted amongst us, and leave a mass of quivering wrecks in its wake.
Whilst the rest of us are busy dusting down our wellies, rolling out our tents and bracing ourselves for the start of festival season, songstress Laura Marling has just excitedly announced that she will be gearing up to support Neil Young on part of his European Tour.
This Friday (29th May), Woodpigeon will bid a fond farewell to the UK and migrate back home for the summer (or a bit of it, at least). The final gig of their tour will take place at the Art Workers Guild in Bloomsbury, as part of a ‘Chamber concert’ hosted by the fabulous Duke of Uke crew.
Slow Club, a pair who are much revered by us all at FFS, have finally announced the release date for their début album, Yeah So. Now, don’t get too excited just yet. We do have to wait until 6th July to explore the pleasure trove that Charles and Rebecca have doubtless put together for us, but luckily they have a bit more brilliance stuffed up their plaid sleeves.
Listening to Rachel Harrington sing tales from her second album, City of Refuge, is akin to being sat in front of the fire by your great aunt Bess and told the stories that made her a woman in a time when wagons rolled and the fiddle and the banjo were played without a hint of retro irony.
Building up layers of synthesiser and creating an engagingly ethereal – by which I mean otherworldly but without being atmospheric like Sigur Rós – sound, Black Moth Super Rainbow are as unexpected as their name.
London via Sweden’s Fanfarlo have been steadily bringing out a single a year for around three years now. Their debut album, Reservoir, has finally been unleashed and as expected, it has been more than worth the wait.
The rather wonderful Fanfarlo have been beavering away to make 500 limited edition copies of their forthcoming album, Reservoir. We love a bit of a DIY ethos her at FFS (which is why our HQ is only half painted…) so were delighted when we saw this picture of the band mid-make.
Communion has announced a corker of a line-up for its first festival. The London – and now Brighton – night organised by Kev Jones of Cherbourg and Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons, has curated a folk stage at Bloom in Bristol.
In their second album Cats on Fire display their finely honed good taste with a selection of songlets which evoke the likes of The Smiths, Belle and Sebastian and Kings of Convenience. They’ve been criticised for this elsewhere, but it’s hard to question the combination of influences that are woven into the silken fabric of this album. Listening to it is like coming home to find that your beloved record collection’s had a bonkfest and produced a beautiful baby in your absence.
For those Londoners going stir crazy this bank holiday weekend we’ve got a last minute gig suggestion for you. My Latest Novel are launching their second album Deaths and Entrances at Bush Hall tonight, with support from It Hugs Back, Left With Pictures and Stars of Sunday League.
Members from the likes of Beirut, The Arcade Fire and Belle & Sebastian have played a role in creating Flare’s (aka Flare Acoustic Arts League) diverse and brilliantly produced third album Cut. They lead on from the likes of The New Pornographers and The Hidden Cameras in showing that good pop music does not have to be formulaic. In fact, each of the songs on Cut manages to stand out as unique. This diversity accounts for a lot of its charm but equally accounts for its few flaws.
Oxford’s indie music society (ISOC) have announced a party to be coveted by any discerning birthday girl or boy. ‘Imstock’ will celebrate 20 years of indie music appreciation, with a line-up that’ll blow even the finest Pizza Hut birthday bash out of the water. The event will take place at the Jericho Tavern, Oxford on June 14th.
Lovely folkette Alessi has recorded an off-the-cuff cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic ‘Simple Man’, which is available to download free.
Sad Day For Puppets are Scandinavia’s latest contribution to the UK music scene. With thoughts of Aqua, Alphabeat and ABBA, I approached them with unnecessary caution, as on the strength of this album, Sad Day For Colours have cemented their place on my summer’s playlist.