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Album: Neils Children – Dimly Lit

Dimly LitMusic in 2013 is sometimes hard to get a fix on. Thanks to the internet, sampling and an attitude which is far less reverent to ‘sacred cows’, labels can be hard to make stick as bands beg, borrow and steal and often change sound or direction within a song let alone an album.

But I will stick my neck out and claim Neils Children for the English Pastoral Psych/Folk Revival. Yes, along with such disparate acts as Jacco Gardner, Belbury Poly and Matt Berry, their world moves to Syd Barret-era Pink Floyd, the Wickerman soundtrack, whooshing noises from Hawkwind’s ‘Silver Machine’, and a modern sheen in terms of production, samples and rhythm. They are the names which rattle around your brain while listening to Dimly Lit.

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mp3free – Jo Mango

Jo Mango was labelled ‘immensely charming’ by The Times, and they weren’t talking about her as a dinner party guest. No, the mighty organ fell in love with her folksy, Bjork-like alt.pop and achingly honest lyrics. She makes sparkly, gliding music that seems ordained to make the listener swoon. Murmuration is set for release on 5th November 2012 via Olive Grove Records. This wonderfully wistful album draws upon her adventures whilst travelling the world as a member of Vashti Bunyan’s band and her experiences over the last few years completing a Doctorate in Musicology plus her collaborations with David Byrne (Carnegie Hall, NY 2007), Devendra BanhartCoco RosieTeenage Fanclub (Baby Lee, 2011), and Admiral Fallow (Beetle in the Box, 2012) amongst others.

You have to admit, she sounds more interesting than the Courteeners. Check her out.

Cordelia mp3

New to You – You Won’t

Been meaning to rave about this Massachusetts two-piece for a while now. Possibly we’ve been avoiding it due to how difficult it is to spell ‘Massachusetts.’ Had they been from say, Delaware, they’d have been on by now. But no matter. They are brilliant; folksy, heart-haltingly gorgeous one moment and playfully lovable the next. Their debut album is entitled Skeptic Goodbye and you will love it. You Won’t?  No, you will.

Celtic Connections 2012

The first week in January is rarely fun. No matter how much you may profess to hate Christmas, there’s lots to do. People to see, places to go and presents. The telly is better, the pubs are warmer, the drink more plentiful. Work is calmer, people are nicer.

And then it’s finished. And you have nothing – nothing – to look forward to.

Well thank God for Celtic Connections, Glasgow’s annual festival of all that’s good in folk, roots, world, traditional, indie, blues and jazz. The 19th Celtic Connections festival will see around 2100 artists from around the world taking part in 300 events in 20 venues across Glasgow over 18 days. There is, almost literally, something for everyone.

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New to You – The Moulettes

Interesting new addition to the folk-rock canon comes in the form of The Moulettes.

The record itself is the most ambitious folk album you’ll hear all year. It splices together strands of classical, gypsy, jazz, alt.-rock and even some avant-garde to create a complex yet accessible whole. Highlights include the epic, atmospheric story-song “Devil Of Mine” (which boasts a mind-blowing video included as an extra on the disc); the Zepplin-esque folk-metal of “Requiem” and the entrancing prog-pop of “Wilderness”. Continue reading

New to You – Juniper Leaf

There’s something uniquely English about pastoral rock. Roy Harper, the Incredible String Band (who were Scottish, but we’ll ignore that) and even the less bombastic Led Zeppelin tracks all spring to mind. It’s the sound of getting it together in the country, of forging beauty from something whimsical, of centuries of tradition. Juniper Leaf come from this section of the rock spectrum. Continue reading

ELM Presents – Arran Arctic

Arran Arctic was originally discovered by an Icelandic whaling ship whilst floating in the sea. Well, it says that on his website. So it must be true. People don’t lie on websites.

Equally unarguable is the fact that Arran will be playing at ELM Presents on Thursday 6th May at Glasgow’s 13th Note. We caught up with him to guage his excitement:

ELM Presents – we’re excited; how are you feeling about it?
Definitely excited, but there’s a twist of anxiety in there too. This will be my first ever Glasgow gig, so I’m really hoping everything goes well and the audience take to my music favourably. Continue reading