‘They May Put Land Between Us’ - Joyce The Librarian(September 04, 2012)
Joyce The Librarian (great band name) deliver gentle, ethereal, atmospheric music. More accurately, they write innovative, alternative folk-inspired songs that come together to forge their new album (scheduled for release in November 2012 on Folkwit Records) ‘They May Put Land Between Us’. From the minute the album starts you’re pulled into their enticing, somewhat strange and rather idiosyncratic world of musical exploration. For the unaware ‘They May Put Land Between Us’ comprises new and old material to provide a consummate introduction to their sound.
The opener ‘Traps’ slides you slowly into their music with simple guitars, wavering voices and tentative percussion. ‘Follow Me, I’m Right Behind’ is the ‘single-from-the-album’ and it’s easy to see why – it’s a tender melody with a catchy hook, softly reserved lyrics with an essentially moving message. Not an obvious in-your-face release in the same way as typical single-fodder but rather understated and recklessly charming. Their array of simple guitars, embellished by finely placed cello cuts and brass indents backed by softly-spoken lyrics is subjectively delightful. It’s interesting that the sleeve notes describe vocals as ‘voice’ - to me that sums up how Joyce The Librarian use their vocals - just like any another instrument. Those same voices weave their magic through ‘Land’, extend their reach through the soothing essence of ‘Maurice Ward’ and ultimately entice with the sparkling strings of ‘Still Sleeping’.
Their brand of folk truly deserves the title ‘alt-folk’ simply because it walks the alternative line so well. In doing so, Joyce The Librarian have an album that should (if there is any justice in the world) establish them amongst Britain’s leading exponents inspired alt or indie folk. And the inclusion of brass accents proves that with the right treatment here is one more band showing there are few instruments that cannot find a home in the ever widening gyre of folk music.
On the album Joyce The Librarian and friends are Martin Callingham (voice, guitars, bass) Houdie (voice, organ, chimes) Tom Van Eker (voice, guitars, drums) Will Simpson (voice, cello) Anna Strudwick (cello) Jim Cormick (trumpet, flugelhorn) Kate Fox (violin) Susanne Lambert (drums) and Ali Chant (drums, tambourine).
Reviewer: Tim Carroll