Music is always worth celebrating, if not for its power to unite and uplift then for that rare ability to be both personal and ubiquitous, to appeal to the many yet feel like it belongs to you.
When a song touches you it becomes impossible to understand that others can be, somehow, less susceptible to its evident charms. When several songs touch you it becomes easy to presume that everyone else is an idiot. However much your objective, sensible side tells you that music is a purely subjective experience built on memories and habit your frustrated, angry side will tell you that other people are wrong, wrong, wrong. The idiots.
At that point, if you’re anything like me, then you devote an unnecessary amount of time pointing out to all and sundry just exactly how and why they are so utterly wrong. Basically I’m not great company, especially if I don’t vent effectively. As such today’s blog will be as informative for you as it is therapeutic for me. Thanks in advance for your help.
In the bar of criminally overlooked musical excellence there is a plaque on the wall, half-hidden amongst a beer-stained deluge of greasy, blurred band photos, that signifies the current holder of that most inglorious of titles: Best Newcomer.
The current holders, Folkroom Records, are a rag-tag bunch of wayward folk lovers with one foot in musical splendour the other in the dour everyday. They live to play music and survive by pragmatism – in the shape of computer programming, accountancy or some other overly-reputable pastime. Yet, despite their limited resources they continually produce gorgeous, incendiary music.
I’ve previously raved about a couple of artists that they’ve released tracks by, the brilliant, mesmeric, genre-defying Ben Walker & Josienne Clark and the perfectly crafted, poetic pop of Keston Cobblers Club and feel no compunction about doing so again:
However, I’m really here to talk about Folkroom’s latest anthology, Volume 3 which is chock-full of elegant folk, stomping shanties and oddball brilliance (and is cheap as chips all things considered).
Patch & The Giant are a strident stagger, the music rocking and creaking, rising and listing, like a battle-hardened dreadnought lost forever to land:
I’m told that their records don’t do justice to the live performances of this London based six piece so worth noting that they have some dates coming up in July and August.
Unarmed by Nick Edward is the sharp, crackling heat of an open fire on a ice cold wintery afternoon, the snow beating almost silently against the cottage window. The world glistens, beautiful and empty as you drift away on the rising thermals:
Right, want a song as pure as the crystalline air of a mountain top? Want to simultaneously hate yourself and be impressed by your shrewd self-awareness? Of course you do, don’t lie to yourself:
Herons! are a band from Falmouth and they are very good. I know nothing else about them except that you can get their debut album from here and that they could do with some support in making their new record.
Of course, you could make a start by exchanging a miniscule amount of your income for a copy of the folkroom anthology, whose excellence is by no means limited to these 3 songs. Do it, do it now.
These 3 bands are, of course, featured on last month’s Skewed Quiff which remains an essential piece of listening. Hard to believe it will cost you nothing: