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- The Female Thief by The Female Thief
8/10 Mike Staff review, 03 May 2012
This is a folk CD. A mixture of playful, nimble-fingered, somewhat experimental minimal and fairly traditional plainsong-inflected folk, with confident singing and fingerpicked guitars with a bit of attack on the delivery that reminds me a little of Jason Molina. There seems to also be a violin and a bit of double bass and what occasional percussion there is is quite understated, and there's even nods to early music with their takes on the traditional 'Lyre Wake Dirge' and ' Sumer Is Icumen In' with their stoic, slow vocal harmonies followed by closely picked guitar melodies over hypnotically picked pedal notes. It's quite relaxing and impeccably delivered. I feel like I'm sitting in near the balcony of my castle sipping some mead and admiring my estate while my mild-mannered minstrels entertain me with their soothing country songs. On their own material they're a little more adventurous, though, with quite personal lyrics and playful and expressive playing and often quite long instrumental passages with bouncy but skeletal grooves. It's these tracks which are piquing my interest the most really, and when they hit their stride like in the long intro to 'These Animals' the intricate interplay between the guitar and double bass is quite riveting. Sometimes the repetitive guitar lines and vocal phrasing are really reminding me of Lungfish...or like Alasdair Roberts playing Lungfish covers or something. And although that sounds like it could be jarringly incongruous I just mean that it's hypnotic and interesting and folky really. This is a graceful and delicate record, but confident and exuberant in its own quiet way, with depth and personality and some stylish fingerwork.
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