Reviews roundup – Anna Pancaldi vs. Benjamin Folke Thomas vs. Broken Flowers
Sadly not a Juliet Prowse revival, this is a new EP from up and coming singer / songwriter Anna Pancaldi who has had a couple of releases out already while she slowly builds her profile as well as touring across Europe and the USA.
And the praise that comes her way is well deserved if you’re a fan of seventies singer / songwriters in the Joni Mitchell mould. So that means lots of intimate confessionals coming your way. The lead track “Brother” is the best of this EP wth just piano and a heartfelt vocal on offer.
The other songs are strong as well and if you’re flying on British Airways this year then you’ll be bound to hear “Keep On Keeping On” which will be played on every flight this year to a captive audience. Not that you’ll want to run away!
BENJAMIN FOLKE THOMAS
See that just messes with my head. A Swedish born, London based singer / songwriter who goes and releases an album called ‘Copenhagen’. Migraine alert.
But once you get past that you can understand why he has been getting plaudits from the more worthy periodicals who have been rather taken with his previous releases. For sure he’s not doing anything new with his rootsy country-lite Americana sounds but he does it very well indeed.
Naturally, as someone who came to acoustic music via Nirvana Unplugged he’s got all the wrong influences such as Dylan, Cohen and Drake but he has managed to overcome that with some fine songs. He’s got a great voice and always manages to remember that you have to have a hook in a song unlike so many acoustic performers out there. Add is some accomplished guitar work and you’re left with a thoroughly enjoyable set.
He delves back to the Laurel Canyon days in a few places and that’s when it all works best. This will definitely win over old and new fans alike.
So Many Shadows
In old money this would have passed as an album, clocking in as it does at 33 minutes. But in the 21st century it’s a mini album or as I prefer to think of it, a record stripped of the shite that makes so many CD albums unlistenable.
And it’s West Yorkshires very own alt-country band Broken Flowers who’re responsible. That’s singer . guitarist Anna Mosley, Darren Gibbs on lead guitar and Mike Brown on bass. This is a follow up to their debut album, off the back of some touring stints.
In fact they’re alt-country only in name as a lot of what is on offer would sit happily in the world of modern mainstream country with songs like “Stephen’s Song” and the country rock of “Anywhere” heavy on the melody and light on the ear. They do go alt on the epic “I Saw A Light” which mournfully takes eight minutes to tell the tale of the 1838 Huskar colliery disaster in Barnsley.
With strong vocals and performances along with some quality tunes the only thing that is missing is a decent budget to polish things up a bit. That aside this is a very enjoyable release which should solidify their place on the UK country scene.