Monday 23 October 2017

Quirky folkies flying high

John Meagher

John Meagher

Love's Spring

(Tin Angel)

HHHII

Aficionados of UK folk could do a lot worse than check out this intriguing album from a quintet of Glasgow-based folkies. Love's Spring is a consistently surprising album that fuses the sturdy trad of Fairport Convention with the venerable strains of baroque and Elizabethan folk music.

There's a touch of Americana too, and songs whose plaintive arrangements recall such disparate figures as Bonny "Prince" Billy and King Cresote.

In places, the playing is really quite something and there's a virtuosity within the album that suggests that Two Wings could fly far.

Yet, it is the singular vocals of the Finnish-English singer Hanna Tuulikki that marks the band out from their peers.

With a voice somewhere between Stina Nordenstam and Joanna Newsom, she is always a captivating presence.

Yet, her delivery is likely to repel as many as it attracts. Even for those of us who are drawn to singers who sound cut off from the norm, her cutsie, little-girl-on-helium style can be rather difficult to take over the course of an entire album.

Still, Love's Spring is a record that has stayed with me longer than most and when consumed in iPod-friendly bites -- not least the masterful Eikon -- it can be quite special.

KEY TRACKS Just Like; Eikon

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