INDIA ELECTRIC CO. – Seven Sisters (Shoelay Music SHMU32)

Seven SIstersThe only thing wrong with this record is that there isn’t enough of it; only six tracks even though one of them is long. Many readers will be familiar with India Electric Co but for those who haven’t yet had that good fortune let me fill you in. They are Cole Stacey, lead vocalist and percussionist and Joseph O’Keefe who plays all sorts of instruments but here confines himself to violin, piano, guitar, accordion and percussion. Seven Sisters is either their second album after The Girl I Left Behind Me or their second EP after EC1M – I’ll go for the latter – and the title comes from one of the tunes in that long track I mentioned.

The material all started out as traditional and the instrumental stayed that way but the others have been heavily adapted. I had to do some research into the opening track, ‘The Gulley’. It turns out to be a blend of a nineteenth century poem, Alice Gray (much reworked), and a hornpipe, ‘Rusty Gulley’. It’s a remarkably big sound for two musicians to produce with O’Keefe’s violin dancing over the song. ‘Take The Buckles’ is a take on ‘The Shearing’s Not For You’ with some great lines that were never in the original and ‘Chaos’ again left me puzzled. The thrust of it is that we are responsible for screwing up our planet but I’ve no idea how it started life.

‘The Cuckoo’s Nest (My Generous Lover)’ mixes the familiar tune of the former with a version of the latter probably from A L Lloyd originally but which has developed and changed over the last fifty years. The instrumental set follows and the record ends with a version ‘Flash Company’. This is often sung as a chorus but India Electric Co slow it right down to bring out the melancholy of the lyrics which, again, have been adapted to the band’s needs.

Musically, India Electric Co do some remarkable things with these songs and what they do may not be to everyone’s taste but there is no doubt that they can play and that they have some great ideas.

Dai Jeffries

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the INDIA ELECTRIC CO. – Seven Sisters link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

Artists’ website: www.indiaelectricco.com

‘The Gulley’ – official video:

India Electric Co & The Girl I Left Behind Me

India Electric Co & The Girl I Left Behind Me

folking have featured India Electric Co. in the past in our tour news section and I recall being impressed at the time reading, that a band that I had never heard of before, was supporting Midge Ure on tour. However, that thought was soon replaced by the million of other things that go on in my folking head, so it wasn’t until I recently when I bumped into Chris Puxley (sound-man extraordinaire) that I was reminded of them.

Jane Brace, their PR wonder-woman, picked up on this and immediately sent me through a copy of the album. Now, with all the stuff we get through at folking, its rare that a CD stays playing in my car on constant repeat. In fact there are two songs on this album that have become instant ear-worms and like some drug infused fix, I’m unable presently, to get through a day without hearing “Beirut” or “My friends are rich”.

Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe, the brains behind this enterprise have done something really special here, and in my opinion, its hats off to them for coming up with a collection of music that’s both original and forward thinking. I think BBC 6 presenter Tom Robinson pretty much nailed it by describing them as  “Folk teleported to the future”.

The styles of music jump from Latin American, Eastern European and African as gypsy jazz rubs shoulders with lively Irish reels with arrangements fresh and varied.

Its definitely an album to check out and in my book a contender for an award or two next year!

Darren Beech

Here is one of the ear-worms – ‘Beirut’ (audio only):

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Remaining tour dates with Midge Ure:

  • Weds Oct 14 Preston, Guildhall Charter
  • Thurs Oct 15 Ulverston, Coronation Hall
  • Fri Oct 16 Leamington Spa, The Assembly
  • Sat Oct 17 Hunstanton, Princess Theatre
  • Thurs Oct 22 Lincoln Drill Hall Lincoln
  • Fri Oct 23 London, Union Chapel

Artists’ website: http://indiaelectricco.com

 

India Electric Co – new album

IEC

Pigeon hole India Electric Co. at your peril. Packing a punch, Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe – the acoustic duo with the electric name – are the musicians behind one of the most exciting and diverting debut releases this spring.

“Folk teleported to the future” is how BBC 6 presenter Tom Robinson has described their bold and refreshing eclectic sound while testament to the esteem in which this young duo are already held comes from no less than Midge Ure who has chosen them to accompany and support him on an extensive UK and European 2015 tour. He says: “The wide range of musical textures they create immediately stood out.” The tour includes a date at London’s Union Chapel on October 23.

Ingenious singer songwriters, musicians and coffee connoisseurs, Cole (25) and Joe (23) have spent a year writing and recording the 10-track The Girl I Left Behind Me. Reflecting their shuttle life style on both sides of the English channel (they lived in France for a time), this is a heady concoction brewed in Devonshire barns and stirred in Parisian cafes.

With an intriguing and atmospheric mono cover image of people crossing a bridge in India, The Girl I Left Behind Me is a fusion of styles, intricately woven textures, lush string arrangements and broad brushstrokes. Says Cole: “It draws on a theme of transience, exploring non places with a sense of not belonging and the highs and lows of being on the fringes of society.”

Sometimes folk, sometimes not, the material is certainly inspired by roots themes from Eastern Europe to Africa, through to Latin America. Gregarious gypsy jazz sidles alongside the influence of lively Irish reels, fresh arrangements of 18th century sea shanties and beguiling self-penned songs of winsome emotion. Timeless, classy and life affirming this is something of a roller coaster ride as it dips and dives, lilts and flows with a nod to artists as diverse as The XX, Thomas Bartlett, Joanna Newsome and the Buena Vista Social Club and literary touchstones including Auden and Marvell.

Artists’ website: http://indiaelectricco.com

“Hypnotic melodies, syncopated rhythms and pop hooks immediately grab your attention. O’Keefe is a bewilderingly talented multi instrumentalist; Stacey has a rich young voice and a turn of phrase that gives the album its other key dimension” – 4* review Songlines Magazine

“Difficult to pigeonhole, the pair seem to be able to pull off just about anything that comes their way – you can’t help wondering where they’ll go next”- Acoustic Magazine

‘My Friends Are Rich’ (audio only):

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.