Toad Records continue their series of splits, this time with tunes commissioned and recorded at Insider Festival. Artists on this release of sparse, gorgeously spaced out folk music include David Thomas Broughton, Siobhan Wilson, Sparrow and the Workshop, and Jonnie Common. 'Song, By Toad V3' is as quaint and intimate as ever. The Scottish hillside beckons.
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Independent Edinburgh label Song, By Toad’s latest vinyl release is a split featuring various artists alongside West Yorkshire’s very own David Thomas Broughton. Recorded at last year’s Insider Festival in Aviemore, the split features a diverse mix of talented musicians from the indie- folk canon. The word folk these days usually makes me despondent, though there is more on offer here than your usual banjo bothering acoustic guitar strummers.
Broughton introduces and concludes the record with two beautiful tracks; ‘My Ageing Heart’ is particularly triumphant, with its soporific guitar lines, lyrics that paint complex musical landscapes and distinctive vocals that have a tremulous, dualistic quality not unlike Antony Hegarty of Anthony and the Johnsons. The synth inclusion is also a welcomed addition.
Elsewhere, Jonnie Common makes up the bulk of the record with three contributions all as intriguing as the next. ‘Summer is For Going Places’ is seemingly meant to accompany you on hazy summer days, but proves to be an appropriate antidote to the grey, gloomy skies of December. His deep, dolorous vocals are remarkably similar to Beirut's Zach Condon and that can only be a good thing. All of the songs here allude to the surroundings in which it was recorded: in the drawing room of the house during the festival, overlooking the beautiful landscape of Aviemore, Scotland.
Showcasing some of the best of British song writing and talent, this record is idiosyncratic, beguiling and intricate in turns, and the perfect soundtrack to warm your heart during the colder months.
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