Sunday, 22 May 2016

EP: The Southern Fold - A True Ascension from the Wayward Path

The Southern Fold A True Ascension from the Wayward Path

Info: The Southern Fold was formed by Kilkenny native Emlyn Holden in 2014 to record and perform a number of self penned songs in the alt folk / blues vein. After performing around the country at a number of open mics, festivals and support slots as various incarnations throughout 2014 and the early part of 2015, Laura Hand joined as permanent co-lead vocalist in the Autumn of '15 and the duo settled down to work on a batch of new songs and perform a handful of gigs in the Kilkenny and Dublin areas. With thier debut EP, A True Ascension from the Wayward Path, just released on April 28th, 2016, the band are currently working with Frieda Freytag (Fox Owl Crow, Dave Couse) on cello and piano and Joe Maher (The Mariannes) on guitar to help broaden their sound and introduce more dynamics to the songs and hope to be busy on the gig circuit for 2016.

Opening with a straight up Americana number in the form of 'Death Country', The Southern Fold paste contemporary folk onto a classical harmonica-based old time sound. 'Romance in Morphine' sees the lead duo at their strongest, a wispy and sweet allegorical ballad that floats pleasingly around your ears, with tiny shades of Simon & Garfunkel song-writing. 'Brand New Day' sweeps back across the American countryside, Johnny Cash could easily break in to join Holden and Hand on the chorus here. 

On 'Home From the War' The Southern Fold push strongly into the contemporary alternative folk domain, marching alongside the likes of Damien Jurado and Andrew Bird, and alongside 'Romance in Morphine', this may be a clue as to wher their sound will settle on future releases. The EP closes with what is easily one of my top five Nirvana songs, a cover of the delectable 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night', and vocally Hand exceeds, not to take away from Holden! It's a very worthy homage to the original and a nice close to a competent debut from TSF.

The Southern Fold play Whelans on the 5th of June in support of The Mariannes, details here

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