As the nights draw in and the heating comes on, it’s a good time to begin to take stock of the year and how it is shaping up for music. Looking back over SWH!’s musical roundups of 2016 to date there is little doubt that it has been one of the most interesting and varied of recent times, and it has no intention of stopping now.
So far the most notable rends have been left-field and/or ambient electronica, the reappearance of the singer/songwriter, the more traditional end of the folk spectrum, (great band name, ahoy!), and lashings of wonderful classic and classy pop music. The following roundup suggests that admittedly simplistic breakdown is not too far from the mark. It is also looking like the year the Scottish independent record label roared, (more of which at a later date), and there is further evidence of this in the music that follows.
First up we have the new album from The Furrow Collective, who set the bar high for contemporary trad/folk music, presenting their often dark material with wonderful understated playing and pin-sharp harmonies. The Collective are Rachel Newton, Emily Portman, Lucy Farell, and Alasdair Roberts (a previous podcast guest), and if you have felt in the past that folk music isn’t for you, and I know there are a few of you out there, then this is the record to change that. You want proof? Of course you do, so here they are with ‘Wild Hog In The Woods’ which also has perhaps the best video of the year: