Thank Folk It’s Friday – 12th April

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- Martha Wainwright has announced the first round of dates for an Australian tour this June. Details here

- Daniel Champagne has released a new video for the track “Heart Like This” featuring Mikaela Atkins. Details here

- The Mid-North released another new video, this time for the track “Rosewood”. Details here

- Melbourne’s Nigel Wearne has just released the title track from his album Black Crow. Details here

- US buzz band The Milk Carton Kids are touring Australia in June. Details here

- Canadian singer-songwriter Woodpigeon has released his brand new video “Robin Song”. Details here

- Communion Melbourne have come through with another amazing lineup for the 21st April – Thelma Plum, Deja, Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai, Jack Carty and Ali Barter. Details here

Interviews

“I love the sound of American folk music, but I’m not American. All my experiences are as an Australian, so to write about anything else just wouldn’t do. I see all to often though Australian songwriters, perpetuating American clichés and avoiding writing about what’s on their doorstep. We have such rich culture and history here that is really worth looking at” – James Daley from Bellyache Ben and the Steamgrass Boys chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

Recordings

“Melanie Horsnell opens her third album, The Cloud Appreciation Society, with a delightful, sweet Gershwin cover, “Oh So Nice,” inspired by the birth of her second child, Gypsy. Although Horsnell confesses to crying the first time she heard it, alone in the car, its presence on the album is far from miserable – quite the opposite, in fact”Serena Skye reviews The Cloud Appreciation Society from Melanie Horsnell. Review here

Gigs

“A long time fan, adorned in leather, spikes and tattoos, scurries to the front of the crowd and passionately screams at Stefanou, “you are not fucking breaking up!” Every set of hands on that rooftop clapped like giants”Janine Estoesta reviews Tehachapi at The Evelyn Hotel in Melbourne. Review here

Releases This Week

Gypsy Moon
The Gypsy Moon – Volume 1Daniel Champagne
Official Site

Dreaming of a Night Mango
Dreaming of a Night MangoTim Guy
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Presents

Steamgrass
Country Roads feat. The Steamgrass Boys, Mustered Courage, 200k, Luke Escombe
Thursday 18th April – The Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Tickets Here

Gigs Next Week

Aluka
Friday 12th April – Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, TAS
Wednesday 17th April – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 19th April – Nexus Arts Centre, Adelaide, SA

Ann Vriend
Friday 12th April – Albert Park Yacht Club, Vic
Saturday 13th April – Candelo Music Festival, NSW
Monday 15th April – venue TBA, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Wednesday 17th April – private concert, Jan Juc, Vic
Thursday 18th April – private concert, Geelong, Vic

Betty & Oswald
Saturday 13th April – FBi Social, King’s Cross, NSW

Bob Evans
Friday 12th April – Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns, QLD
Saturday 13th April – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 19th April – Discovery, Darwin, NT

Bobby Alu
Sunday 14th April – Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Heads, NSW
Friday 19th April – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD

Boy Outside
Wednesday 17th April – Hibernian House, Sydney, NSW

Darren Cross
Sunday 14th April – Midnight Special, Sydney, NSW

Eli Wolfe
Friday 12th April – Harvester Moon, Bellarine, VIC
Saturday 13th April – The Carolyn Theatre, Cororooke, VIC
Friday 19th April – Bon Amici Winebar and Cafe, Toowoomba QLD

Fanny Lumsden & the Thrillseekers
Friday 12th April – Yalgogrin Hall, Yalgogrin, NSW
Saturday 13th April – Collingullie Soldiers Memorial Hall, Collingullie, NSW
Sunday 14th April – Marrar Town Hall, Marrar, NSW

Jack Carty and Jordan Millar
Friday 12th April – Lennox Head Hotel, Lennox Head, NSW
Saturday 13th April – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Sunday 14th April – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Thursday 18th April – Lizzotes Restaurant, Newcastle, NSW

James Kenyon
Friday 12th April – The Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Wednesday 17th April – The Green Room Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 18th April – The Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW
Friday 19th April – The Naked Bean, Grafton, NSW

Jep and Dep
Friday 12th April – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart, TAS

Jordie Lane
Saturday 13th April – The Four Leaf Sessions, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 14th April – Burke & Wills Winery, Mia Mia, VIC
Thursday 18th April – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Friday 19th April – Royal Oak Hotel, Launceston, TAS

Katie Noonan with Brian Campeau
Saturday 13th April – The Basement, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 14th April – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW

MoFo feat. Lucy Wise and the B’Gollies, Mem Davis and the Kindred Spirits
Friday 12th April – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Patrick James
Sunday 14th April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Sarah Humphreys
Thursday 18th April – Bottlerocket Bar & Cafe, Nowra, NSW
Friday 19th April – The Shellharbour Club, Shellharbour, NSW

Stu Larsen and Natsuki Kurai
Wednesday 17th April – The Ellington, Perth, WA
Thursday 18th April – A Little House Gig, Adelaide, SA

The Hillbilly Killers
Thursday 18th April – Sleep At The G, MCG, VIC
Friday 19th April – Meeniyan Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

The Starry Field
Saturday 13th April – The Bird, Perth, WA

The Tiger and Me
Friday 12th April – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 13th April – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Guy
Friday 12th April – The Green Room Lounge, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th April – The Front Gallery & Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 14th April – Albion Hotel, Albury, NSW
Thursday 18th April – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 19th April – The Old Mt Gambier Gaol, Mt Gambier, SA

Friday Folk Flashback

“Look At Miss Ohio” – Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings

We’ve been to a lot of festivals this season and one of the most consistently amazing bands was The April Maze who do a great cover of this song – which means its been in my head for pretty much the entire Summer.

New Woodpigeon Video “Robin Song”

Woodpigeon
Image Courtesy of Woodpigeon

The videos from Canada’s Woodpigeon just keep coming with the release of the Elliot Smith-esque “Robin Song”. Taken from Woodpigeon’s latest album Thumbtacks & Glue the “Robin Song” video has been spectacularly animated by Andrei Faheregyhazi – check it out below:

New Woodpigeon Video, “Red Rover, Red Rover”

Woodpigeon
Image Courtesy of Woodpigeon

The new Woodpigeon album Thumbtacks & Glue hit stores last week and to celebrate the latest single from the LP, “Red Rover, Red Rover”, has just been given a brand new video. Check it out below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 8th February

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- Passenger revealed his latest new track, “Staring at the Sky”, in a live video featuring Stu Larsen and the legendary Ruby Turner. Details here

- Wes Carr (or Buffalo Tales as he calls himself these days) hit the road this week for a tour of Victoria, Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Details here

- Sydney duo The Falls need your help to get to North America in March for Canadian Music Week and SXSW. Details here

- Some more details on the upcoming album from American folk-rock band Dawes have been revealed. Details here

- Award winning singer-songwriter Melody Pool will be launching her brand new album The Hurting Scene this month. Details here

- The new video from Woodpigeon, “Edinburgh”, from their upcoming album Thumbtacks and Glue hot the internet this week. Details here

- Singer-songwriters Jack Carty and Jordan Millar are hitting the road together for a massive national tour this March, April and May. Details here

- The shortlist for this year’s Australian Music Prize has been announced with acoustic/folk entries from Jess Ribeiro, Liz Stringer and Grand Salvo. Details here

- The Tiger and Me have released “Made it to the Harbour”, the latest single from their album The Drifters Dawn. Details here

- A couple of tracks from the upcoming Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer album Child Ballads have found their way online. Details here

- Noah and the Whale have announced plans to release their forth studio album, titled Heart of Nowhere, this May. Details here

- Jordie Lane is rolling a bunch of support slots, festival appearances and headline shows into a massive tour starting this March. Details here

- FrogFest, Sydney’s mini-festival of progressive folk and roots music, has announced its 2013 lineup including The Barons of Tang, Takadimi, GrandMasterMonk and Dave Bova Band: Divina Commedia. Details here

- Swedish trio Junip have revealed a bunch of details about their upcoming self titled album including the album art, track list and a teaser video. Details here

- Sally Seltmann will be performing shows in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney this March to road test material for a new album. Details here

- Turin Brakes have announced a single Sydney sideshow when they’re in the country for Gum Ball. Details here

- The Lumineers have changed the venue of their sold out Sydney show to The Enmore and released more tickets. The Falls have been named in the support slot for the entire tour. Details here

- Brighter Later have released their new video “Come and Go” featuring footage from 1970s wildlife documentaries. Details here

- Former Charlie Mayfair front man Dave Di Marco has just released the second single, “Unfold”, from his upcoming debut solo EP Deep and Down These Walls and announced an east coast tour in March. Details here

Interviews

“Three of us are kind of the core band – that’s myself, Arlene Fletcher who plays double and electric bass and Megan Bernard on electric guitar. And then we’ve just gotten a drummer join us as well and he’s coming on all the legs of the tour except for South Australia – his name is Jordan Lockett. We’ve kind of evolved a little bit. I used to play as a solo, then it was a duo, then back to a solo. I recorded the album just myself with lots of guests – then for the launch I put together the full band and we played together for about eight months as a five piece. Then we’ve just had a bit of a lineup change in the last couple of months. I think it’s kind of found its natural settling of people who can be on the road a bit more” – Sophie Klein from Little Wise chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Reviews

Recordings

“Those afraid of a post-greatest-hits-lull will be disappointed, as this collaboration with master harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite carves out new sonic territory for Harper and contains some great songs to boot”Mackajay reviews Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite’s new album Get Up!. Review here

Releases This Week

Eli Wolfe
Perfect MomentEli Wolfe
iTunes

Timber and Steel Presents

Little Wise
Little Wise
Friday 8th February – The Singing Gallery, McLaren Vale, SA
Saturday 9th February – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Sunday 10th February – The Old Mount Cambier Gaol, Mount Gambier, SA
Thursday 14th February – The Retreat, Brunswick, VIC
Friday 15th February – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

Nick and Liesl
Nick & Liesl w/ Evan & Mischa and Lucy Wise
Sunday 10th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Brett Winterford
Saturday 9th February – Upfront Club, Maleny, QLD

Chaika
Friday 8th February – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 9th February – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 15th February – The Merry Muse, Canberra, ACT

Deer Tick with Two Gallants
Friday 8th February – The Annandale, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 9th February – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 12th February – International Arts Festival, Perth, WA

Don’t Mention The Wall
Friday 8th February – Gunnedah, NSW
Saturday 9th February – Uralla Arts, NSW
Sunday 10th February – Bellingen, NSW
Thursday 14th February – Congo, NSW (house concert)
Friday 15th February – River Music Folk, Nowra, NSW

Donavon Frankenreiter
Friday 8th February – Caves House Hotel, Yallingup, WA
Saturday 9th February – The Ocean Beach Hotel, Perth, WA
Saturday 9th February – Breakwater Hotel, Perth WA
Saturday 9th February – Ocean One Bar, Perth, WA
Sunday 10th February – Whistling Kite, Perth, WA
Friday 15th February – Woolshed Pub, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 15th February – Prince Of Wales, Melbourne, VIC

Julia Stone with Vance Joy
Thursday 14th February – St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW
Friday 15th February – St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, QLD

Justin Townes Earle with Robert Ellis
Friday 8th February – Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Saturday 9th February – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Sunday 10th February – Annandale Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 13th February – Lizottes, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 15th February – Capitol Theatre, Tamworth, NSW

Mustered Courage with Bill Jackson & Pete Fidler
Thursday 14th February – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Nick and Liesl
Saturday 9th February – Pure Pop Recordsm, St Kilda, VIC
Sunday 10th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC

Rory McLeod
Friday 8th February – Harvester Moon, Bellarine, Vic
Saturday 9th February – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, Vic

Ruby Boots
Friday 8th February – Baha Taco, Rye, VIC
Saturday 9th February – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 15 February – Perth International Arts Festival Gardens, Perth, WA

Sarah Blasko
Saturday 9th February – Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 14th February – Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC

The April Maze
Saturday 9th February – Kuranda Ampitheatre, Kuranda, QLD
Thursday 14th February – Townsville Folk Club, Townsville, QLD

The Wooden Music Festival feat. The Perch Creek Family Jug Band, The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Bearded Gypsy Band
Friday 8th February – Diggers Club, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 9th February -The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 10th February – The Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoombe, NSW
Friday 15th February – Beetle Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Wes Carr
Friday 8th February – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW
Saturday 9th February – The Loft, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 13th February – Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 14th February – Baha Tacos, Rye, VIC
Friday 15th February – Wellers Restaurant, Kangaroo Grounds, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Sunshower” – The Little Stevies

Next week The Little Stevies will be launching their live album Most Requested at The Workers Club, featuring their new lineup (sans Robin). We thought this was as good a reason as any to post the song that made us fall in love with the band in the first place.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 21st December

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

- NSW festival the Gum Ball announced their first round of artists for 2013 including Turin Brakes, Mia Dyson, The Beards, Jordie Lane, Little Bastard and more. Details here

- Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey has announced a handful of headline shows when he’s in the country for Bluesfest next year. Details here

- A new album is on the way from Canadian nu-folk artist Woodpigeon. The album, titled Thumbtacks and Glue, is due for release on the 25th February. Details here

- Our adopted son Passenger has announced plans to return to Australia next year with a national tour. Details here

- US based singer-songwriter Josh Ritter has announced plans to release a brand new album in March next year. Details here

- UK five-piece Feldspar have just released the video for their beautiful a capella track “The Flat and Paper Sky”. Details here

- TinPan Orange have released a video covering “Dumb Ways To Die” by Tangerine Kitty (which features TinPan’s Emily Lubitz). Details here

- Bellyache Ben and the Streamgrass Boys’ banjo player Grant Arthur is launching his Christmas album A Very Grant Arthur Christmas at The Vanguard in Sydney this Saturday help from The Pretty Big Band, The Cope Street Parade, Geoff Bull And The Finer Cuts, Bellyache Ben and The Daley Brothers. Details here

- Banjo player Packwood has delivered an early Christmas present with the release of his brand new video “Bats”. Details here

Interviews

“Yeah, it’s very different from when we both made our first solo records, which were I think for both of us more side projects to Angus and me as a duo. This time around we definitely wanted to go and tour as solo artists and we wanted to play the songs that we had worked on. We felt really inspired to do that at the same time which was really a simple decision to make – it was just a conversion Angus and I had at the end of touring the last record Down the Way. We toured that for long I think it was pretty natural to want to explore the other stuff that we had been working on, even while we were on tour together”Julia Stone chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Blog

“As always rather than give you a definitive “Best of 2012″ list we asked each of our contributors to give us their own top five albums that fall into the genres we love here at Timber and Steel – folk, acoustic, alt-country, bluegrass, Americana, trad, singer-songwriter and everything else in between. And as always our contributors have each given us a unique insight into the music they’ve loved in 2012″ – See our Best Albums of 2012 here

“Not satisfied with just providing you with our own opinions around the best albums of 2012 we have once again put the call out to some of our favourite artists to find out what they’ve been listening to this year. And the response to this call has been simply astounding – over 90 artists sent us their number one album of 2012, along with a couple of sentences as to why it’s their number one, almost tripling the amount of submissions from last year and demonstrating once again just how personal and diverse everyone’s relationship to music can be” – see what our favourite artists picked as their Favourite Albums of 2012 here

Releases This Week

Ruckus Juice
Ruckus JuiceThe Seals
Official Site

Gigs Next Week

Darren Hanlon
Friday 21st December – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 22nd December – St Stephens Anglican Church, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 23rd December – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Emily Barker
Thursday 27th December – MOJO’s, Fremantle, WA

Grant Arthur’s Big Swingin’ Christmas Extravaganza feat. The Pretty Big Band, Grant Arthur and The Baubles, The Cope Street Parade, Geoff Bull And The Finer Cuts, Bellyache Ben, The Daley Brothers
Saturday 22nd December – The Vanguard, Sydney NSW

Jack Carty
Sunday 23rd December – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Perch Creek Family Jugband
Friday 21st December – Woombye Pub, Woombye, QLD
Saturday 22nd December – Cooran Hall, Cooran, QLD
Sunday 23rd December – Uki Hall, Uki, NSW [Hillbilly Christmas]
Thursday 27 December – Woodford Folk Festival, Woodford, QLD

Phia with Mez Medallion and Brightly
Sunday 23rd December – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

The April Maze
Sunday 23rd December – Coal Cliff Surf Club, Wollongong, NSW

The Stillsons (duo)
Saturday 22nd December – The Wheatsheaf, Thebarton, SA
Sunday 23rd December – La Mar’s Sundays, Glenelg Surf Club, Glenelg, SA

The Trouble With Templeton
Friday 21st December – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 22nd December – Lizotte’s, Kincumber, NSW
Sunday 23rd December – Lizotte’s, Dee Why, NSW
Friday 28th December – Worker’s Club, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth” – The Priests feat. Shane MacGowan

Being the last Friday before Christmas I just had to share the most surreal Christmas song collaboration in recent years. No words are needed – just watch and enjoy.

Woodpigeon Announces New Album Thumbtacks and Glue

Woodpigeon
Image courtesy of Woodpigeon

Canadian nu-folk artist Woodpigeon (AKA Mark Andrew Hamilton) has announced plans to release his fifth full-length album in 2013, Thumbtacks and Glue. The album is scheduled for release on the 25th February 2013 and the first track, “Sufferin’ Suckatas”, is already streaming online – check it out below:

Thumbtacks and Glue was recorded in Calgary, Alberta with producer Arran Fisher. The full track listing is below:

Thumbtacks and Glue
1. The Saddest Music In The World
2. Red Rover, Red Rover
3. As Read In The Pine Bluff Commercial
4. Children Should Be Seen And Not Heard
5. Little Wings
6. Sufferin’ Suckatash
7. Robin Song
8. Edinburgh
9. Hermit
10. Thumbtacks + Glue

Stream the New Woodpigeon EP

Woodpigeon
Image Courtesy of Woodpigeon

Canadian nu-folk collective Woodpigeon are set to release a brand new EP this month titled For Paolo. The EP, set to be released on the 24th January, contains 6 racks including two versions of the title track “For Paolo” and we have the whole thing embedded below:

If you just can’t wait until next week to own some new Woodpigeon head over to Exclaim.ca for a free download of the title track, which also has a video that you can watch here:

Timber and Steel’s Top Albums of 2010

Top Five

It’s that time of year when every music site, blog, publication and fan is busy writing their top album lists for 2010. And we here at Timber and Steel are no different. But rather than try and give you a definitive list we thought we’d let each of our contributors share with you their own personal Top Five Albums of 2010 – trust us, there would have been a lot of fighting otherwise. So without further ado, we give you Timber and Steel’s Top 5 Albums of 2010:

Chordsandcandles
Transition to Colour1. Transition to ColourMatt Corby. With his Jaw dropping live performances and his ability to silence a room or get them stomping along to one of his faster tracks, Matt Corby’s EP Transition to Colour has to be my number 1. His songwriting and emotion provoking vocals set him way and above the rest, and he is definitely someone to keep your eye on for the future.
The remaining four are in no particular order:
2. Kingdom of Our OwnMatthew and the Atlas
3. The Queen of the SultanAy Ducane
4. WildbloodThe October Game
5. New Moore IslandThe Mariner’s Children

Evan Hughes
I Speak Because I Can1. I Speak Because I CanLaura Marling Laura Marling really came into her own with this album showing a maturity that is well beyond her years. Her lyrics and musicianship show a depth only glimpsed at in her previous releases and every song is a gem.
2. Been ListeningJohnny Flynn
3. Flight of the CrowPassenger (and friends)
4. Basement BirdsBasement Birds
5. Down the WayAngus and Julia Stone

KT Bell
I Speak Because I CanI’m nothing if not predictable, and sure, they’re not all this year’s releases, but I got a hold of them all this year and they have been my soundtracks.
1. I Speak Because I CanLaura Marling
2. Sigh No MoreMumford & Sons
3. The Diary of a Falling ManAutumn Gray
4. With Emperor AntarcticaBoy & Bear
5. LungsFlorence & the Machine

Macka Jay
Been Listening1. Been ListeningJohnny Flynn. I loved this album from the first moment i heard it, amazingly combines a sense of play and a keen, observational lyrics. Incredible.
2. I Speak Because I CanLaura Marling
3. Armchair ApocryphaAndrew Bird
4. Down the WayAngus and Julia Stone
5. The Courage of OthersMidlake

Miladyred
Beat and Holler Like others I’m not entirely sure if a couple of these are releases for this year but this is the year that I really discovered them.
1. Beat & HollerMama Kin
2. Sigh No MoreMumford & Sons
3. Basement BirdsBasement Birds
4. With Emperor AntarcticaBoy & Bear
5. LungsFlorence & the Machine

Thom Owen Miles
The Wild Hunt1. The Wild HuntThe Tallest Man On Earth
2. The Violent BlueElectric President
3. I Speak Because I CanLaura Marling
4. The Big IslandMotel Motel
5. Die Stadt MuzikantenWoodpigeon

Free Canadian Music Download: Ho Ho Canada Deux Compilation Album

canada
Image courtesy of thelineofbestfit.com

Canadian website thelineofbestfit.com has put together a compilation of music from Canada’s best acts, and is offering for free download here. The aim is to combat the repetitive-Christmas-carol-blues by asking the country’s finest musicians to submit their own holiday compositions. Amongst the artists featured on the two disc album are some of the best folk acts going around, including Woodpigeon, The Great Lake Swimmers, The Mountains & The Trees and The Wilderness of Manitoba. All of these artists are a must-listen, and I’m sure there are many more on the album that we at Timber & Steel haven’t discovered yet. Canada is home to an overwhelming wealth of amazing folk music, and what better way to explore it than in a holiday-friendly and completely free way?

Watch the video below of The Wilderness of Manitoba to get an idea of the kind of quality we’re talking about here.

Spotlight On: Woodpigeon

Image courtesy of Woodpigeon
Image courtesy of Woodpigeon

There is something very refreshing about the modern day “musical collective”. The circumstance of a band not being able to settle on a line up is not altogether new or unfamiliar, and is more often than not perceived negatively amongst fans. Thankfully, the term “collective” was coined to describe groups of artists whose creativity and motivation is stimulated by the sharing of talent and ideas outside the confines of the traditional fixed-member set up. The arrangement has worked wonders for groups like Broken Social Scene and Animal Collective, and it appears as though Canadian folk collective, Woodpigeon, might just be the next group to benefit from the artistic flexibility.

The Calgary based collective take full advantage of the large and diverse array of instruments and musicians at their disposal to create a warm and layered sound, not unlike that of Sufjan Stevens. In fact, the mix of accordion, violins, flute, harmonious group vocals, and acoustic guitars (and not to mention inspired composition) results in an overall experience that is entirely Sufjan-esque. That is not to say that the music of Woodpigeon is derived from that of Sufjan Stevens, rather that it is undoubtedly of equal substance and quality.

Remarkably, when the sound is stripped back to its bare skeleton leaving front-man Mark Hamilton alone with his guitar, the impact of the music is not even slightly lost (as demonstrated in the “Black Cab Session” episode below). Hamilton’s ability to perform a completely simplified rendition of a complex arrangement, only for its outstanding poignancy to remain intact is testimony to his quality as an artist.

Although having played alongside acts such as Iron and Wine and Calexico, Woodpigeon’s touring is mostly confined to Northern America at the moment. However, their most recent album Die Stadt Muzikanten which was released earlier this year is a must-hear for the self-respecting modern folk enthusiast.

Country of Origin: Canada
Sounds Like: Sufjan Stevens, Belle and Sebastian.
File Under: Modern Folk, Folk-Pop.
Official Site: woodpigeon-songbook.com
Myspace: myspace.com/woodpigeon

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