Folk is a minority interest music and at its fringe is filk, that undefined and undefinable genre to which Talis Kimberley can be said to belong. That is not to denigrate her in any way – I wish I’d discovered her years ago.

If you’re puzzled by the word “filk” then I’d venture to suggest that Jon Boden’s Songs From The Floodplain is the ultimate filk album. Several of Talis’ songs from this set: ‘Vitruvian Man’, ‘When I Was A Mermaid’, ‘World’s End’ and ‘Wolf At Your Door’ inhabit similar post-apocalyptic worlds. Talis isn’t content merely to imagine, however: she lives the low-tech, sustainable lifestyle and initially she’s on the attack. The first three tracks demolish the master/servant relationship (while promoting self-sufficiency), news reporting and the stock markets and she returns for a pop at politicians with ‘Jam Tomorrow’.

Talis’ guitar, bouzouki and recorder are supported by multi-instrumentalist Simon Fairbourn, Mitch Sampson’s piano, Cathy Oliver’s cello and Tim Walker’s drums and percussion – all are members of her “floating” band – and Talis’ inventive songs are matched by equally inventive arrangements. I really like this album.

Dai Jeffries

Artist Web link: www.talis.net