On Monday the 29th of October 2012 we’ll finally be releasing Anthology Two – the much awaited follow-up to our debut release on Folkroom Records! You can find all sorts of details about it in the news section of our site, but we thought we’d take you aside for a moment to explore the more personal side of the record. Namely, the sings themselves. Over the next few days, in the lead up to the release, we’ll be looking at some of the tracks on the album and hearing from the artists themselves, who’ll give us a little insight into how they came to be.

Today we’re being a little wily – both the acts whose tracks are covered below are on Anthology Two, yes. But both acts are also playing our free Folkroom gig in London tonight. So if you want to check them out, you could do worse than coming down to The Queens Head on Acton Street from 8 tonight!

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker  – ‘You Can Tell (By The Light)’

It’s fair to say that if I hadn’t seen Josienne and Ben play, there would be no Folkroom Records – after all, though I met him as Josienne’s shy and retiring guitarist, Ben Walker is now one half of all things Folkroom. More importantly, he’s the half that means there’s actually music to release, and not just one shabby twenty-something shouting at people about the music he likes.

It made sense for Josi and Ben to release their latest EP, ‘Homemade Heartache’, on Folkroom. They represent everything about us – modern folk and traditional folk playing around with one another like schoolyard friends. ‘You Can Tell (By The Light)’ is a new cut from the duo.

“One of my only truly positive songs,  ‘You Can Tell’ contains none of the misery I usually opt for. It’s a little love song built on a few metaphors, set to gentle lullaby-esque tune. It’s of true love waiting faithfully, for possibly years- waiting for a traveller/lover to return.  ‘John Riley’ and many other traditional folk songs are on this theme. In ‘John Riley’, the singer’s lover has been gone for seven years and some bearded guy asks to marry her one day while she’s in her garden. She turns him down, and vows to stay faithful to her husband even if he’s died or fallen in love with someone else abroad. In the end, it turns out he husband hasn’t and she doesn’t recognise that its actually him in the garden with her, because he’s grown a beard.  I guess the overall gist is “I will love you forever and one day you’ll know because everything will be telling you – the sky, birds, trees and so on… and you’ll return to me”

Theres a little bit of ‘Edelweiss’ in there somewhere to give it that light parlour music sound, with a hint of something Mediterranean too. I’m actually working on translating the song into Spanish for fun!”
Sophie Jamieson – Dinah
I’ve had the pleasure of watching ‘Dinah’ unfold for us over the last few months. Almost every act on Anthology Two recorded their song with Ben, though few of these pairings worked out quite so unexpectedly fantastic as it did with Sophie Jamieson. I don’t think any of us fully understand how the end result came to be – Sophie’s beautiful vocals and incredible, subtle lyrics are completely brought alive by Ben’s Spector-esque production. Sophie, on a recent trip to Italy, recorded a little video to accompany the song.
“I guess it’s a song about womanhood and growing up, and how terrifying those things can feel. I wrote it during and after a trip to India last summer where I volunteered for a month in a village in the Himalayas, and spent a lot of time helping the women out in the house and in the paddy fields. I ended up thinking a lot about the expectations made of the women there, and how they would have arranged marriages, whether they felt ready for a partner or not.

The rather obscure reference is to a book I was reading while I was out there, called ‘The Red Tent’ by Anita Diamant. The book was about Jacob from the Old Testament and all his wives and sons, and is told from the point of view of his only daughter, Dinah. When I wrote it I sort of imagined being any woman in the process of growing up and into a woman, talking to Dinah and looking to her as a model of womanhood and what to aspire to.”

Anthology Two comes out on Monday 29th October, and will be available from the Folkroom Bandcamp. Josienne, Ben and Sophie play our gig in Kings Cross tonight (October 24th).


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