‘One Day, A Flood’ from The Eastern Swell - potential definitely fulfilled(September 09, 2016)
Back in 2014 I reviewed a short EP from Edinburgh-based Lainie and The Crows, and described what I heard as: "... obvious touches of Americana, a tinge of country-rock and a soupcon of psychedelic folk blending organ-wash with vibrant guitar overlaid by longing female vocals.” Despite the paucity of tracks I was also forced to admit: “... there's something good going on here but I guess we wait for the album to really get inside their music.”
Fast forward to 2016 and an album arrives from a band called The Eastern Swell, also an Edinburgh band influenced, in their own words, by “... progressive folk, experimental rock, neo-psychedelia.” And no surprises for guessing it’s the same outfit, and it’s fair to state that the potential of that EP has definitely been fulfilled. Now a four-piece, here comes ‘One Day, A Flood’ - the music is tougher, rounder and fuller, there’s still those female vocals ranging through sombre yearning to assertive declaration, tightly-delivered backing vocals, the driving guitar still comes on strong while bass and drums lay down a solid foundation. The influence of Americana is reduced, psych and folk-rock elements increased, the sound is progressive and will doubtless add fuel to the never-ending folk-not-folk debate. And there will doubtless be criticism coming my way for reviewing ‘One Day, A Flood’ on a folk website – and no, I’m not bothered.
The songs are dark yet at times hopeful, covering frailty, fear, deliverance and belief; tracks to watch out for are ‘Rattling Bones’, ‘1000 Yard Stare’, ‘Temples’, ‘Dancing Zombie Blues’ and the magnificent ‘Run Down Country Palace’.
The Eastern Swell are Lainie Urquhart (vocals, tambourine) Chris Reeve (guitar, vocals) Neil Collman (bass) and Andy Glover (drums, percussion) with Pete Harvey (cello, Rhodes) on selected tracks.
Review: Charlie Elland