Folk duo Twelfth Day recently released a new album called Cracks In The Room, a somewhat experimental take on the traditional folk movement.
By Jane Howkins
There have been a few folk-based singer-songwriters that have come out of the woodwork recently, however the majority of them seem to have brought in a more poppy element to the more traditional trappings of the genre. Some of the most well known names from the nu-folk movement include Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons, and Johnny Flynn. However, Twelfth Day are rather different to those artists.
The duo keep a traditional bent to their music. They provide evocative songs that are almost fully instrumental in parts, featuring lush guitar and violin textures alongside what sounds like a harp. Both members of the group (Catriona Price and Esther Swift) are Scottish, and there’s a definite Celtic feel to the album. Although, that never seems to fully take over. Cracks In The Room hold a great new take on an old genre.
What’s also particularly interesting about their latest record is that despite the traditional aspect, there’s also a fair amount of experimentation going on. It never really strays into the poppy area that a lot of the nu-folk artists have strayed into, but there are some really interesting melodies and tempos swirling across almost every song, and the way the duo use their instruments to create new sounds is simply fascinating.
Cracks In The Room certainly makes for an interesting listen, and the way in which Price and Swift have managed to experiment with the notion of traditional folk is certainly noteworthy. The experimentation may seem overwhelming, but there’s some good stuff here in a genre that welcomes the new energy.