MISHRA – Reclaim (Shedbuilt Records MSR005)

ReclaimReclaim is the second album from the global folk collective Mishra, it is a lovely relaxing collection original and traditional Indian influenced folk music and is “a joyous celebration of music’s ability to help us to connect to each other and the natural world around us”.

Mishra are the writing partnership of Kate Griffin (The Magpies) and Ford Collier (BBC R2 Folk Award Nominee with The Drystones), who draw on a multitude of diverse genres to deliver a sound that is really easy to listen to.  They are joined on the album, by John Ball (tabla & santoor), Joss Mann-Hazell (double bass) and Alex Lyon (vocals & clarinet).

Having said the album is relaxing, it does open quite abruptly with ‘Truth’ and for me this is the most Indian influenced song, especially with the way it is sung.  I’ve had the album playing on repeat in the house for the past few days my favourite track is ‘This, The Sound’, it’s just soooo chilled.

The first of the instrumental tracks is Ford’s ‘Reel To Reel’ with a lovely combination of whistle and banjo to a foot tapping rhythm.  We then have a bit of G.K. Chesterton’s poetry with ‘Rolling English Road’ and then ‘Second Line’, a song written by Kate for her recently passed Grandmother, another foot tapper.

We move into gentler territory with the bird song influenced ‘New Air’ and move a little more upbeat with ‘Rise’ which has a definite `Indian feel to it.  ‘Swell’ drops back down to an easy-going laid-back beat that gets you swaying in your seat and has some spoken word inspired by Life Of Pi read by Fred.

Some will know ‘I Never Will Marry’ from having listened to The Magpies and I love the Mishra treatment of it.  The title track ‘Reclaim’ is the second instrumental on the album, written for banjo by Kate.  The album officially ends with ‘Burn’, another upbeat song brilliantly delivered.  There is a 12th track with ‘Burn Jam’ which sounded like it was a lot of fun to do.

The album was recorded live as much as possible with whole band in Wayside Studio in Gloucestershire, it was mixed by Andy Bell, mastered by Martin Nicholls and produced by Kate and Ford.

This album gets 5 stars from me and I’m really looking forward to seeing Mishra live at a Manchester Folk Festival and again in Abingdon next year.

Duncan Chappell

Artists’ website: www.mishramusic.co.uk

‘The Truth’ – official video: