‘She’ - debut album from Billy Vincent(May 04, 2012)
There’s an album out this month that deserves your attention – new folk, folk rock or folk pop – call it what you will it matters not. What does matter is it’s fresh, vibrant and ultimately infectiously engaging. ‘She’ is the debut album from London-based Billy Vincent (that’s a band not an individual) and it comes with a collection of hooks as sharp as a razor. Believe me, hear it once and those hooks will dig deep into your ears.
The band cite their influences as wide and varied - “classic rock through to folk and even a touch of country” – yes that’s all in there, plus their own rapid, sometimes unexpected mood-changes. These are the volatile touches that make ‘She’ stand out from so much ‘debut music’ that too often sounds like a hundred other albums. The force behind Billy Vincent is: Billy Barratt and David Vincent (vocals, guitars) Joseph Kinsey (bass, harmonica, vocals) Matt Woodward (fiddle, vocals) Jack Blenkinsop (drums, vocals).
Opening with ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ you’re immediately into their distinctive sound, wait a while and that develops into the depths of ‘And It Fights’ with its powerful vocal edge. There’s another ferociously addictive hook and contagious chorus to the punchy ‘The Wayward Fall In Line’ that traps you without you knowing it. By contrast, there’s melodious yet forceful presence of ‘Where Jemima Goes’, the crashing miasma of ‘Feathers’ and the mournful ‘Four, Five, Six’ – these are songs that change their themes at a snap but still flow around a slicing vocal edge, incisive guitar breaks and finely placed fiddle accents.
Trying to place either band or album into a comfortable definitive box is damn near impossible and essentially pointless – let them be whatever they want to be. If this is new folk then folk has some powerful forces working in its favour - if it’s not, who cares just love it for itself.
‘She’ by Billy Vincent is due for release on 7 May 2012 through Something Nothing Records
Reviewer: Tim Carroll