Putting together a list of our Best Albums of 2013 has been no small task, especially when the music I’ve featured is there because I like it in the first place…I’ve never been one for spending energy on writing about music I’m not keen on and luckily our great team of reviewers feel the same. The whole point of Folk Radio UK is to introduce you to new great music not to tell you about music to avoid…life’s too short for that. So this growing list, now in part 4, is not over yet. For convenience you can view our ‘lists’ under features menu above or just click here.
So kicking off part 4 of our Best Albums of 2013 (part 4) is:
The John Langan Band – Bones Of Contention
Two years in the making, The John Langan Band’s “Bones Of Contention” boasts voluptuously proportioned tracks, a veritable United Nations of musical influences and an infectious disregard for musical convention.
Cara Luft – Darlingford
Juno award winning Cara Luft released her third solo album Darlingford followed by a UK and Ireland tour. Her cover of ‘The Ploughboy and the Cockney’ is still one of my favourite tracks of the year which stayed pretty true to the popular version by Maddy Prior & Tim Hart (1971).
Lo’jo – Cinéma El Mundo
Lo’jo a band conceived on the margins of Angers, in the west of France released Cinéma El Mundo revolutionary in it’s scope and a feast for the ears with a guest appearance from Robert Wyatt.
Sam Amidon – Bright Sunny South
With his fourth album ‘Bright Sunny South’ Sam Amidon revisited bare folk storytelling. What he calls “a lonesome record”, to Bon Iver, is “the tips of the blades rising”. This also provided one of my all time favourite songs of the year As I Rove Out:
Review | Live Review
The Memory Band – On The Chalk (Our Navigation of the Line of the Downs)
On 2013 release ‘On The Chalk’ The Memory Band presented their discoveries with more appeal, sincerity and originality than many a self-appointed guardian of tradition. This is another album that has offered many a track which I’ve been playing on repeat since release.
Cocos Lovers – Gold or Dust
Allysen Callery – Mumblin’ Sue
Portraying moments in fairytale brush strokes, Allysen Callery’s fifth release ‘Mumblin’ Sue’ was yet another new folk gem.
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker – Fire & Fortune
How could I possibly miss Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker’s Fire & Fortune…an excellent fusion of the new and traditional. I’m being a bit off track here by including a remix by Pete Flood of Bellowhead…but hey:
Review & Interview
M G Boulter – The Water Or The Wave
M G Boulter made a striking solo debut with The Water Or The Wave, a beautifully constructed album inspired by his Essex coastal home. Hearing this album was one of those magical moments…you just stop what you’re doing and listen…
The Paul McKenna Band – Elements
On ‘Elements’ the now familiar sparkle of The Paul McKenna Band never seems to diminish, and continues to catch the attention of a widening audience.
Gill Sandell – Light The Boats
Gill Sandell’s second solo album was an object lesson in the art and craft of songwriting; a shimmering tapestry of sound with a mesmerising beauty that easily ranks amongst the year’s best records.
Review | Interview | Live Review
Sharron Kraus – Pilgrim Chants and Pastoral Trails
The latest release from Sharron Kraus ‘Pilgrim Chants and Pastoral Trails’ was a fitting testament to a loving engagement with a corner of the countryside that remains as magical as ever.
Grey Reverend – A Hero’s Lie
Grey Reverend released his second album ‘A Hero’s Lie’. There’s deep honesty and a breathless, contented melancholy in Grey Reverend’s songs. The combination of style and content are guaranteed to attract an ever-widening audience.
Review & Interview
Sean Taylor – Chase The Night
A trilogy of albums in three years has seen praise for Sean Taylor from Mike Harding, Bob Harris and more. You’ll understand why as Chase The Night delivered his London masterpiece.
Review & Interview
Live At Caffe Lena : Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013
Live At Caffè Lena is a thoughtfully sequenced compilation which manages to distil a wide range of emotions and musical styles into a low-key but never lowbrow collection which captivates by virtue of its simple humanity. A wonderful and inspiring release from the wonderful folk at Tompkins Square.
Willard Grant Conspiracy – Ghost Republic
Willard Grant Conspiracy’s Ghost Republic was a remarkable achievement: no ordinary album which but a project combining song, poetry and film.