A round-up of recent EPs and singles
KADIA are a young trio from Dorset who already have one album, East Of Alexandria, to their name. The Outlandish Collection is a five-track EP of traditional songs and tunes. The band comprises Lee Cuff on cello, double bass and piano; Chris Bailey on guitars and accordion and David Hoyland on mandolin and percussion. All three sing and with the range of instruments at their disposal they can produce a variety of sounds and moods. They open with the well known ‘Captain Ward’ followed by ‘The Cricketers Set’ which opens with ‘Cooley’s Reel’ (I would have sworn it was ‘Drunken Sailor’) and ends with ‘King Of The Fairies’. Their lead single is ‘Lady Isabel & The Elf Knight’ and they finish with ‘The Keeper’ and ‘Randy Dandy’ – I never realised that the former was “full of innuendo and metaphor” and I wonder if our primary school teachers knew! I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more of Kadia.
A prelude to her forthcoming tour, California-based singer-songwriter/artist CORINNE WEST releases a cover of The Battlefield Band’s ‘The Yew Tree’ (Make Make 333). It’s far more stripped down than the original; West hauntingly intoning the lyrics about Scotland’s history, referencing the slaughter at Flodden Field and the preachings of John Knox, to the backdrop of a cello drone, giving it a potent protest feel.
Formerly trading as Alessi’s Ark, Alessi Laurent-Marke.has now pared herself down to just ALESSI and, after a three year absence following 2013’s The Still Life, is readying a new album, Love Is The Currency. As a taster she’s just self-released Wives (the limited edition 8” having sold out, it’s now available as a download), a swirringly atmospheric slice of chilled out folk-pop that muses on womanhood, women’s roles and responsibilities, and the importance of nurturing their own spirit as the best way to sustain a partnership.
‘He’ll Fight’ is the first single from the debut album by SPEAK, BROTHER an indie-folk quartet from the midlands. Written by singer and guitarist, James Herring, it’s a powerful song of drug addiction and redemption built on acoustic guitar and keyboards with solid bass and drums and clear harmonies. Speak, Brother are already making a name for themselves after two EPs and this song suggests that we can expect good things from their album.