7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant Bella's best album to date improving with time,
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This review is from: Battleplan (Audio CD)
Bella Hardy has been very productive lately with the recent young female folk fiddler supergroup excellent album Laylam out only a few weeks ago, a festive album of Christmas seasonal songs , and last years more sparse stripped down tribute to her beloved home of the Peak District ,The Dark Peak and the White. Her quality control remains exceptionally high, indeed I would venture the opinion that this is her best album to date, showing steady progression with great maturity for one who is still in her 20's. A new departure for this album is the formation a more permament supporting band over a whole album, The Midnight Watch, consisting of 4 fine Scottish folk musicians sympathetically and classily supporting Bella, featuring Anna Massie on Guitar and Banjo; Angus Lyon on keyboards;James Lindsay on Double Bass , and Mattie Foulds on Percussion and "Sneaky" Piano, who also does an excellent job as producer of this album, with a clear, pure, uncluttered straightforward sound. Bella has written 5 new original songs, and has adapted another half dozen traditional songs, sometimes adding a female perspective or some new verses. Her own compositions stand up remarkably well , she is one of the finest of the recent young batch of emerging folk musicians, and her singing voice here is strong, mesmerising and beautiful. A remarkably mature and assured album likely to feature in many end of year lists as one of the best folk albums of 2013,just like a classic maturing wine, she just gets better and better through time. A personal favourite track for me is Maybe You Might, featuring 3 minutes of just Bella singing and playing "Clonky" Piano, a great singer songwriter non folk performance which has a pureness and light touch that commands special respect, and is a magic moment on this fine album.