THE NASHVILLE SESSIONS
FRAIRGATE RECORDS 11.6.12
Don’t judge a book by the cover the old cliché goes – but I was initially put off by the awful cover of this six track mini-album – a kind of mocked up am-dram affair with hammed up bogus poses using red roses (for the lady) and a skull for the gent so that he could strike his best Hamlet.
However, the music offered by this British folk-duo fares much better – they consist of vocalist and guitarist Richard Birtill and Francessca Cullen who provides additional vocals and violins amongst other things. The tunes are a heady rush of scatological word-play and frantic yet traditional folk instrumentation.
Opener ‘Cut All Strings’ launches headlong into a pounding folk stomp with resonant strings forming additional textures, while Birtill joyously delivers the vocals. ‘1 Million Screaming Angels’ has that exquisite touch of being able to hear in detail the fingers moving along the fret board which I always find greatly endearing.
‘Till Death Do Us Part’ is a baroque horror tale whereby the protagonist admits to thinking about how satisfying it would be to kill off a spurned lover, and about the potential tragedy of dropping a radio into his own bath. An intriguing mini-collection of exuberant folk-romps – it would have been interesting to see how they fared on a full length album’s worth of material.