Instant Replay – New Triple Vinyl Folk Artsit Compilation

Instant Replay
Stealing Sheep – One of the artists on Instant Replay

ECC Records unveil ‘Instant Replay’, a stunning vinyl-only triple album featuring 32 brand new versions of songs originally recorded between 1971 and 1981. It follows on from 2017’s highly acclaimed compilation album Self Preservation Society that featured reworkings of songs from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Like its predecessor, it has been personally curated by Mark Constantine, founder of Lush and passionate music fan, this time bringing together some of the finest funk, folk, pop and ballads of the time.

Compositions by artists as diverse as Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Sparks, The Clash, Vangelis, Mott the Hoople and Stevie Wonder, have been reinterpreted by a galaxy of established and rising stars including Teddy Thompson, Stealing Sheep, Eliza Carthy, Jackie Oates, Marry Waterson, Bash & Pop and Honeyfeet. The result is yet another, magnificently diverse, six-sided jewel of a record.

Mark Constantine says: “There’s a trend to use the phrase ‘curated by’, but in this case it’s never been more appropriate. For me, selecting outstanding tracks from that decade to be covered by such magnificent performers has been the ultimate luxury. Some selections are obscure and overlooked greats; others are some of the most popular of the era. As you’ll see, once we started we couldn’t stop – and the digital album has even more tracks! I hope you love it as much as I do.”

Once again, this triple vinyl presents a collection of songs which may sound unlikely on paper but in reality are truly stunning in their diversity and creativity. Side A opens with Honeyfeet’s cover of the 1971 Jethro Tull song Locomotive Breath featuring a magnificent, bluesy vocal from singer Rioghnach Connolly, also heard on the uplifting hands-in-the-air cover of Vangelis’s State of Independence from Afro Celt Sound System. Stealing Sheep tackle Peter Gabriel’s Excuse Me and rework Heart’s Barracuda into an artful slice of synthpop, while Marry Waterson provides a radical reimagining of the Cure’s 10:15 Saturday Night alongside Robert Palmer’s Johnny and Mary with cello accompaniment. Elsewhere we hear a beautiful reinterpretation of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On by Teddy Thompson who goes it alone with just vocal and ukulele on Stevie Wonder’s If It’s Magic, both juxtaposed by The Kenneth’s proggy version of Werewolves of London. With 37 tracks on this delectable collection, there is a new discovery on each listen.

ECC Records was founded by Mark Constantine, founder of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Simon Emmerson – record producer, guitarist, founder of Afro Celt Sound System and core founder of The Imagined Village (a collaborative work of many roots artists that includes Eliza Carthy) is its Musical Director. Read more at https://www.eccrecords.co.uk/about/

‘Instant Replay’ is released on 7 June 2019 as a triple-vinyl available from all Lush stores, selected vinyl outlets and from eccrecords.co.uk plus all the usual digital retailers (Cat # ECC100-014).

INSTANT REPLAY – Full Track Listing

Side A

  1. Locomotive Breath – Honeyfeet

– originally appeared on Jethro Tull’s 1971 album Aqualung
showcases Ríoghnach Connolly’s brilliant bluesy vocal and virtuoso flute playing

  1. Tusk – The Kenneths

– title track of Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 album

  1. The Hansbach – Gamesteacher

– taken from from Rick Wakeman’s 1974 prog rock epic, Journey to the Centre of the Earth

  1. Barracuda – Stealing Sheep

– a complete reworking of Heart’s soft-metal track into artful synthpop

  1. This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us – Dream Themes featuring Piney Gir

– originally a number 1 hit for Sparks in 1974

– recorded by TV theme tribute band Dream Themes, formerly the backing group for Mancunian showbiz legend Frank Sidebottom

  1. Down And Out – Eliza Carthy

– a version of a song from Paul Williams’ Oscar-winning 1976 soundtrack to the film Bugsy Malone

– performed by the multi-award winning Eliza Carthy MBE

Side B

  1. All The Way From Memphis – Max Poscente

– originally a hit for Mott The Hoople in 1973

– blistering sax solo comes courtesy of PJ Harvey and Tindersticks collaborator Terry Edwards

  1. What’s Going On – Teddy Thompson

– a beautiful reinterpretation of the Marvin Gaye protest song

– Teddy’s work, both solo and with his talented family (including Richard & Linda) is widely acclaimed

  1. Lost In The Supermarket – Sheema Mukherjee

– first appeared on The Clash’s 1979 album, London Calling

– features Sheema Mukherjee’s sitar and distinctive vocal

  1. Who By Fire – One eskimO

– classic Leonard Cohen track with a melody based on a Hebrew prayer

– a brand new recording by Kristian Leontiou’s One eskimO project

  1. Tubular Bells (excerpt) – Rhodri Marsden

– an excerpt from Mike Oldfield’s magnum opus

– narration comes courtesy of Simon Heyworth, co-producer of the original album

  1. The Belfast Hornpipe – Na Cliaraí

– tune originally popularised by The Dubliners

– a collaborative effort between Honeyfeet’s Connolly and producer Richard Evans

NOTHING IN THE WORLD LIKE…

Side C

  1. State Of Independence – Afro Celt Sound System

– Written and recorded by Yes frontman Jon Anderson and Greek synth wizard Vangelis in 1981

– Subsequently and memorably covered by Donna Summer

– A huge number of musicians involved in this epic reworking by the Afro Celts

  1. Nothing In The World Like Love – The Free French

– the opening track from Labi Siffre’s 1971 album The Singer And The Song

  1. Tangled Man – Green Gartside

– A rare recording by Scritti Politti frontman Green Gartside
– taken from Anne Briggs’ 1971 album The Time Has Come

  1. Liza Radley – Jackie Oates & Barney Morse Brown

– b-side to The Jam’s 1981 hit “Start!”

– reinterpreted with cello and violin courtesy of Oates and Morse Brown

  1. Brass In Pocket – Honeyfeet

– the first number one single of the 1980s, originally recorded by The Pretenders

Side D

  1. Overture~Cotton Avenue – Working Week with Julie Tippetts

– First appeared on Joni Mitchell’s 1977 album Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter

The first collaboration between Working Week and Julie Tippetts since 1989

  1. Amsterdam – Ben Murray

– A cover of Al Stewart’s homage to the Dutch city from his 1972 album Orange

  1. Dead Ringer – Si Nicholls

– a song from The Stranglers’ 1977 album No More Heroes

– performed by Lush’s very own father & daughter combo Simon and Libbi Nicholls

  1. 10:15 Saturday Night – Marry Waterson

– A radical reimagining of the original recording, which appeared on The Cure’s debut album, Three Imaginary Boys

produced and arranged by solo artist Adem Ilhan, formerly of Fridge, now with Domino Records

  1. The Kiss – Rosie Doonan

– a track from Judee Sill’s beautiful 1973 album, Heart Food

– features one of the UK’s leading harpists, Ruth Wall

EMOTIONAL RESCUE

Side E

  1. Grace Darling – Atlas and The Pleiades

– features four vocalists: Rosie Doonan, Mira Manga, Jackie Oates and Angie Pollock

– the closing track of Strawbs’ 1975 album Ghosts

  1. Still… You Turn Me On – Ben Murray

– a track from Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s fourth album, Brain Salad Surgery

– performed by actor, folk musician and singer Ben Murray

  1. Emotional Rescue – Honeyfeet

– a version of The Rolling Stones’ falsetto single from 1979

  1. If It’s Magic – Teddy Thompson

– Teddy goes completely solo, with just vocal and ukulele

– a song from Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life album (1976)

  1. Johnny And Mary – Marry Waterson

– Robert Palmer’s 1980 song about the shallowness of male politicians and the boredom of their wives

– accompanied by Barney Morse Brown on cello

Side F

  1. Werewolves Of London – The Kenneths

– the original is best known for its appearance in the Tom Cruise film The Color Of Money
– recorded by Warren Zevon in 1977 with Fleetwood Mac’s rhythm section

  1. Pulstar – Gamesteacher

– The 1976 synthesiser masterpiece by Vangelis reworked with a full band

– The current drummer of prog legends Gong provides the rhythm track for this version

  1. Mandolin Wind – Bash & Pop

– featuring Tommy Stinson, former bassist with The Replacements and Guns N’ Roses

– original track released by Rod Stewart in 1971

  1. You’ve Got A Friend – Martha Tilston

– One of Carole King’s best known songs, appears on her Tapestry album

– performed by singer and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominee Martha Tilston

  1. Instant Replay – Wattle & Daub

– Dan Hartman’s disco classic reworked by multi-instrumentalist Rob Smoughton (Hot Chip, Scritti Politti, Black Peaches) and his bandmate Rhodri Marsden

USB

  1. Excuse Me – Stealing Sheep

– A track from Peter Gabriel’s 1977 debut album

  1. Water Bearer – Beagle & Amalthea

– The title track from the 1978 album by Sally Oldfield, sister of Mike Oldfield

  1. Grease – Nuala Davies

– The title track of one of the highest-grossing musical films of all time

– solo violin courtesy of Jennymay Logan of The Elysian Quartet

  1. Back To Nature – Palm Skin Productions featuring Kate Berney

– the original, an early electronica classic by Fad Gadget, was the second ever release on Mute Records

  1. You’re So Vain – Beagle & Amalthea

– a Ronettes-style reworking of Carly Simon’s biggest hit

 

MARRY WATERSON & EMILY BARKER – A Window To Other Ways (One Little Indian)

A Window To Other WaysA musical meeting of minds at a writing retreat led by Kathryn Williams led to Waterson, the daughter of Lal Waterson as, as such, English folk royalty, and Stroud-based Australian singer Emily Barker writing a song entitled ‘I’m Drawn’.

That, a dark, dank foliage folk plucked banjo number featuring cello and their two voices, now appears as part of this first collaborative album, produced by multi-instrumentalist Adem Ilhan, another attendee at the retreat, and featuring contributions by Lukas Drinkwater on guitar and bass and drummer Rob Pemberton. Following this initial collaboration, the pair continued to meet, at their respective home, to write these other songs that push their respective folk boundaries into other fields.

First up comes the pensive (and perhaps project descriptive) people watching title track with its eerie lyrics (“I’m a fly on the wall.. a lone ghost taking notes”) and sombre bass and cello, the mood immediately upended with the walking beat and handclaps of Richard Thompson meets The Bangles folk rock ‘Perfect Needs’.

A personal favourite is the hypnotic ‘Little Hits Of Dopamine’, a vaguely Eastern rhythmic chug with clicking percussion, trippy double bass groove and nervy banjo about social media addition with its “instant gratification” and “one click communication”.

Opening with and featuring thumb piano, the heady musical atmosphere continues on the alt-folk ‘All Is Well’, another Eastern snakelike rhythm weaving around traditional folk roots that calls to mind Robert Plant’s experiments in melding different folk cultures. The mood and tempo’s sustained as Barker takes lead on the late 60s psychedelia-shaded ‘We Don’t Speak Anytime’, a pulsing drone and sparse bass underpinning the vocally shared slow coma JOMO waltz ‘Drinks Two and Three’.

Barker’s spooked, plucked banjo provides the bedrock to ‘I’m Drawn’, the harmonies kicking in on the chorus, nimble fingerpicked acoustic taking over on the folksiest number, ‘Twister’ which, with lines like “he’s an eight ball” and the refrain “Let’s stay curious”, musically calls to mind the solo work of Linda Thompson or, perhaps more so, daughter Kami, at least until it suddenly takes off into a brief bridge of backward sounds.

The creative balance has, generally speaking, Waterson providing the lyrics and Barker the music, but the latter does have one lyric of her own, albeit ‘Disarm’ being just a 57 second naked bluesy track written at the retreat with Adem and set to a music box backing created by making holes in a paper scroll and then then fed through the machine to create the sound.

‘It’ll Be Good’ returns to piano for a lovely apology for not “being in the mood to be a person today”, Barker’s echoey distant backing vocals counterpointing Waterson’s note of weary self-convincing optimism before treated whispery vocals misleadingly introduce ‘Trick Of The Light’ which then, anchored by Drinkwater’s bass and reveals itself as a sultry sung 40s jazzy blues that echoes Barker’s own most recent album. After mention of illumination, it ends with the achingly beautiful ‘Going Dark’, a slow and soulful dual vocal piano waltz around the ballroom of depression (“when I go so low, when I go dark”) that dances with the ghost of Sandy Denny to a cello serenade.

The press release describes the album as a truly special one-off collaboration. Let’s hope not.

Mike Davies

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‘We Don’t Talk Anytime’ – official video:

Come away with the fairies at the 2019 Soundpost singing weekend

Soundpost Fairy Gathering

World getting a bit weighty? Lift your spirits in the wilds of South Yorkshire at Soundpost’s 2019 singing weekend.

The Fairy Gathering 2019 (which takes place 10-12 May in Dungworth) will feature singers such as Marry Waterson, Fay Hield, Lucy Farrell, Ewan MacPherson and Ben Nicholls. The idea for this year’s weekend comes from the Modern Fairies Project, a unique collaboration between leading songwriters, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers and researchers to develop exciting new work, presenting fresh perspectives on what folklore means to us in the modern world. The weekend will see the artists delving into the world of folk tales and exploring how they can be made relevant to singers and listeners today.

They will present hands on workshops to help you develop your own singing and songwriting with plenty of opportunity to get involved and explore new ways to work with folklore and music.

“The fantasy of the fairy world offers escape to a place of light and beauty, of endless food and drink, of laughter and happiness, but the allure draws us away from what is really important into a dangerous world of make-believe. These vivid, timeless and enduring truths about human existence still speak to us powerfully today,” says Fay Hield, Soundpost co-founder.

Soundpost was formed in 2011 by Hield, Sam Sweeney, Andy Bell and Jon Boden to explore folk traditions through practical workshops, performances, debate and discussion.

The organisation’s annual weekends started in 2011 as a celebration of song, with workshops, talks and practical sessions. Last year’s Wanton Seed event featured content from the reissues of the classic folk song books Marrowbones and The Wanton Seed and the brand new omnibus edition, Southern Harvest.

Soundpost singing weekends are notable for their accessibility, whether you’re a singer, fairy fan, music teacher or keen listener. If you want to develop your singing or songwriting skills or if you just want to hang out with a group of amazing people and absorb the charmed atmosphere, the Soundpost Fairy Gathering is where the magic happens.

–       £95 Weekend Ticket: Full Price (includes concert)
£75 Weekend Ticket: Students and Unwaged (includes concert)-       £12 Saturday night concert ticket only (Max: two additional tickets only. If demand is high we may not be able to guarantee concert tickets. Refunds will be issued if this is the case)

Event website: http://soundpost.org.uk/events/2019-04-26-fairies-gathering

 

The Self Preservation Society

Here is something that must have been a lot of fun to do… Released by ECC Records – 19th February 2018 – A really folking brilliant, folk-rocking and beautiful listen – Darren Beech

‘The Self Preservation Society’, a stunning vinyl-only triple compilation album, three years in the making. Personally curated by Mark Constantine, founder of Lush and a passionate music fan, the album features 34 versions of songs from the late 1960s and early 1970s, bringing together some of the finest progressive, folk and psychedelic moments of that era. Original compositions by artists as diverse as Genesis, Nick Drake, The Doors and Frank Zappa have been reinterpreted by a galaxy of established and rising stars including Teddy Thompson, Eliza Carthy, Jackie Oates, Marry Waterson, Julie Tippetts and Honeyfeet. The album captures a period of time that was rich with experimentation; an era when anything and everything could happen. The result is a magnificently diverse, six-sided jewel of a record.

Mark Constantine on Teddy Thompson’s version of The Zombies classic, She’s Not There, taken from the album…

The track is one of many “from a period of time when my friends and I were experimenting by listening to everything from West Coast bands like The Byrds to classically-inspired groups such as The Nice,” says Mark Constantine. Honoured and thrilled that that some of his favourite artists, many of whom he had worked with before, shared his enthusiasm and passion for these songs, he added, “Each track has had the deluxe treatment from a collection of great individuals, bands and producers. The result means a great deal to me, and I can’t stop listening to it.”

The album will be available from all Lush stores (plus via the amazon link below) bringing this extraordinary collection to a new audience. The record is full of breathtaking moments, many of which sound unlikely on paper but are stunning in reality. The Imagined Village’s take on Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, featuring pounding dhol drums of Johnny Kalsi and Eliza Carthy’s incredible vocal performance, is an undoubted highlight. Barney Morse Brown’s version of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love”, a face-off between layered cellos and pounding drums, adds a sinister, ghostly edge to a rock classic. Beautiful vocal performances by Jackie Oates, Rosie Doonan and Marry Waterson bring nostalgic memories of The Zombies, The Byrds and Leonard Cohen into sharp focus. And two versions of Quincy Jones’s “Get A Bloomin’ Move On” – the theme to the 1969 film The Italian Job – bookend the album.

“They were truly extraordinary times,” says Simon Heyworth, who mastered the record. “I was an avid attendee at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco… I would go to every concert I could, including Cream, Blind Faith, The Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield. I never saw The Zombies perform, but Teddy Thompson’s rendition of ‘She’s Not There’ is brilliant. I love the way all these recordings sound.”

‘The Self Preservation Society’ is released on heavy-weight triple-vinyl .

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‘The Self Preservation Society’ Track list:

Get A Bloomin’ Move On – The Pickled Walnuts
The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack – Beagle & Amalthea
Hocus Pocus – Man Diamond
Time Of The Season – Jackie Oates
Fresh Garbage – Julie Tippetts
I Wouldn’t Leave My Wooden Wife – Iamesh and the Secret Collective
Gunga Din – Rosie Doonan & Ben Murray
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) – Beagle & Amalthea
Lady Eleanor – Ben Murray
As You Said – Doonan, Oates & Manga
Sunshine Of Your Love – Barney Morse-Brown
Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye – Marry Waterson
Hello, I Love You – Beagle & Amalthea
Reasons For Waiting – Honeyfeet
She’s Not There – Teddy Thompson
Riders on the Storm – The Dhol Foundation featuring Charlie Casey
Kashmir – The Imagined Village (feat Eliza Carthy)
White Rabbit – Honeyfeet
America – The Naked King
Utterly Simple – Sheema Mukherjee
For What It’s Worth – Kami Thompson
Don’t Bogart Me – Honeyfeet
Crazy Cajun Cakewalk Band – Iamesh and the Secret Collective
Lullaby – Matt Shaw & James Porter
Graveyard – Jackie Oates & Barney Morse-Brown
Terrapin – James Porter
The River – The Naked King
Montana – Iamesh and the Secret Collective
Get A Bloomin’ Move On – Dream Themes
Nantucket Sleighride – Beagle & Amalthea
Stamping Ground – Iamesh and the Secret Collective
Moonchild – The Naked King
Time Has Told Me – Ben Murray

USB EXTRA – It Happened Today – Wojtek Godzisz

ECC Records Web link: https://www.eccrecords.co.uk/about/

MARRY WATERSON & DAVID A. JAYCOCK – Death Had Quicker Wings Than Love (One Little Indian Records TPLP1419CDP)

Death Had Quicker Wings Than LoveMarry Waterson and David A. Jaycock release their second album as a duo, Death Had Quicker Wings Than Love, on the 29th of September 2017. Sadly, the promotional copy of the CD I received didn’t include information on who else played what, but I understand from Marry’s web site that contributors include singer/songwriter Kathryn Williams, Romeo Stodart (guitar on ‘Out Of Their Hearts’), violinist Emma Smith, and John Parish (percussion on ‘Small Ways And Slowly’). (Clearly there are other instrumental contributions, including piano, bass and electric guitar.) The record was exquisitely produced by Adrian Utley of Portishead.

  1. Unusually, ‘The Vain Jackdaw’, reinterpreting one of Aesop’s fables, starts with a simple but eerily archaic instrumental section and is followed by a purely unaccompanied vocal. The moral of the fable is “Hope not to succeed in borrowed plumes“, or as Marry’s song puts it “Fine feathers don’t make fine birds“: however, Marry’s singing of a subtly ambitious melody is successful on every level. If ‘unaccompanied’ suggests to you a simplistic rendering, prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
  2. ‘Lost (adjective)’ explores the feelings of darkness and loss that permeate the entire album. It has a more ‘modern’ feel to the instrumentation with its underlying guitar arpeggios.
  3. ‘Death Had Quicker Wings Than Love’ takes its inspiration from a maiden’s crown in St Stephen’s Old Church, Robin Hood’s Bay. A maiden’s garland or crown was traditionally displayed in a church as a funeral memento of females (usually) who died virgins. The title is said to derive from the words inscribed on the grave of Mary Woodson, who died on the way to her wedding in 1785. The song includes vocal and violin contributions from Kathryn Williams and Emma Smith.
  4. Talking about ‘Out Of Their Hearts’, Marry describes how “Once we had that [Romeo Stodart’s guitar part], David dampened down the guitar strings with crocodile clips which creates a fantastic atmosphere and then added a bass that wandered through the song like footsteps.” And very effective it is too.
  5. ‘Gunshot Lips’ has as harsh a lyric as you’d expect from the title, and a guitar arrangement that leans to the classical, augmented by
  6. ‘New Love Song’ includes harmony vocals (presumably from David?) around a simple lyric set off by atmospheric instrumental work.
  7. I had some difficulty in following the lyrics of ‘Three Of Them’ – I suppose it’s age thing – but it didn’t impair my enjoyment of the song. Still, I wish people who write lyrics this good would actually make them available with the CD.
  8. ‘On The Second Tide’ has a free-ranging modal melody that reminds me a little of Irish balladry tinged with singing techniques well to the East of these islands: I could almost imagine Sheila Chandra singing this, if only she was still able to perform.
  9. ‘Forgive Me’ is described as a ‘meditation upon the sadness of seeing your children leave home’: yep, been there, and the song certainly has resonance. It is, I suppose, closer than most of songs here to what you expect to hear from the singer-songwriter end of the folk spectrum.
  10. The arrangement of ‘Small Ways And Slowly’ even borders on folk-rock with its backing vocals and build-up towards electric guitar. Much as I love the preceding tracks, it will be interesting to see if Marry and David come up with more material in this idiom in the future.

I’ve seen this described as a ‘folk record’ and as ‘in an authentic folk style’. I can see where those descriptions come from, but I’m not sure they’re strictly accurate, any more than they are with reference to Lal and Mike Waterson’s Bright Phoebus, also cited in PR materials. (This is far from being a criticism – I’m no folk purist!) Though the songs include themes and tropes that echo the tradition, they have a poetic sensibility that could never be described as primitive or rough-hewn. The melodies often have a sinuous complexity that wouldn’t be out of place in an art song performance. The arrangements avoid flash and thunder, but they’re deceptively accomplished and always effective, with instrumentation that goes beyond the boundaries of the traditional acoustic session. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine an album like this being made by anyone in whom awareness and knowledge of the English tradition wasn’t deeply ingrained.

I guess you wouldn’t expect someone with the surname Waterson to release an unsatisfactory CD, but this is so much more than satisfactory. Marry’s singing has the quality you expect of the best revival singers: accomplished without sounding ‘over-trained’. David A. Jaycock not only provides equally accomplished (and unquestionably sympathetic) guitar accompaniment, but clearly plays a vital role in the transition of each song into arrangements that bring out in the best in the lyric, melody and performance. This may not be the most cheerful set of songs I’ve heard this year – well, cheerfulness in a song is overrated, in my opinion – but it’s certainly one of the very best.

David Harley

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Artist’s website: marrywaterson.com

‘Death Had Quicker Wings Than Love’ – official video:

Marry Waterson and David A Jaycock – new single and album

Marry Waterson

Marry Waterson and David A. Jaycock have revealed the first single (and accompanying video) taken from their second album as a duo, the haunting folk lament ‘Small Ways And Slowly’. The pair are set to release the wonderful new album, Death Had Quicker Wings Than Love, via One Little Indian Records on 29th September.

Featuring a plethora of notable collaborations with the likes of celebrated singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams, Romeo Stodart (The Magic Numbers), Emma Smith (The Elysian Quartet), John Parish (PJ Harvey) and produced by Portishead’s Adrian Utley, the uniquely atmospheric, dark and haunting folk record focusses Waterson and Jaycock’s singular voice and sets them apart.

Of course, no-one needs to explain to Marry Waterson of the magic that happens when you keep the front door open. Bright Phoebus, the game-changing 1972 album, recorded by Lal and Mike Waterson, was recorded in just such a fashion. Consciously or otherwise, it seems that Marry and David ring-fenced something of that process and applied it to Death Had Quicker Wings Than Love. “We saw everyone as potential contributors. I remember on one of the final days we were recording ‘Small Ways And Slowly’ – John Parish popped in to borrow something and ended up laying down some percussion which totally lifted the song. It was such a kick to be able to hand over these songs and work with people who understood where they were coming from to such a degree, often on first hearing.”

Marry’s surprise is genuine, yet what you can hear time and time again isn’t the result of dumb luck. It’s a testament to a specific power that lies deep in the Waterson DNA. She opens her mouth to sing and you immediately pick out the details in the picture.

Death Had Quicker Wings Than Love follows in previous record Two Wolves’ authentic English folk style, similarly inspired by personal experience, but told through the form of historical fables. “Feeling lost is a common thread throughout the record,” explains Marry. It’s a feeling addressed most directly in Lost (adjective), a pensive study in the disorientation that remains when two souls are wrenched apart.

And working with Portishead’s Adrian Utley has freshened Waterson and Jaycock’s signature style; the record evidently treads new ground. Opening track, ‘The Vain Jackdaw’, was inspired by the classic Aesop Fables. “The inside cover of my tattered copy bears the lines ‘This Book Bilongs to Me. Address 160 Hull. 8 years old’, says Marry. The vocal was recorded outside on the rooftop, and left totally unaccompanied, apart from a haunting guitar intro. Utley wanted Marry to “sing into the air like a bird”.

Waterson made her recording debut on her mother Lal and aunt Norma Waterson’s A True Hearted Girl back in 1977 and later under the name The Waterdaughters. She also formed an occasional singing partnership with them and Eliza Carthy, appearing on numerous Watersons and Waterson / Carthy recordings to boot – but it wasn’t until two crucial shows in 2007 that the idea of making music herself really took hold.

That year Marry and brother Oliver Knight appeared with the Waterson family at a special Royal Albert Hall concert entitled A Mighty River of Song, and again later the same year at the BBC Electric Proms Concert Once in a Blue Moon: A Tribute to Lal Waterson in which they both played key roles as performers and curators.

Encouraged, in 2011 came the pair’s hugely acclaimed debut The Days That Shaped Me, which was nominated for a BBC Folk Award. That album, and it’s 2012 follow-up Hidden (again as Marry Waterson & Oliver Knight) showcased Marry’s highly original and distinctly English performance style – style that owes much to the folk tradition. Marry went on to team up with David A Jaycock for third album Two Wolves in 2015, which was released to fantastic critical praise. Having previously worked with Neill MacColl and Kate St. John on several projects including Hal Willner’s Rogue’s Gallery at Sydney Opera House and the Bright Phoebus tour, the pair were the obvious choice to produce the record.

Waterson has since been busy with a reissue of Bright Phoebus, Lal and Mike Waterson’s 1972 folk-noir masterpiece. Featuring performances from Lal, Mike and Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, amongst others, the album is now recognised as a forward-thinking benchmark for the genre, and will be released by Domino Records in August.

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Artists’ website: http://marrywaterson.com/

‘Small Ways And Slowly’ – official video: