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A Magazine for Sheffield

Spinning Yarns

Local six-piece The Mother Folkers are a self described rootsy folk band, a description which somewhat underestimates the variance and eclectic feel of their first full-length album Spinning Yarns, the first release on new Sheffield-based label Ideas on a Postcard. True, the band holds a classic folk line-up, with guitar, bass and drums joined by accordion, flute and violin, but the way this instrumentation is used certainly denotes a wider listening base and interests for the individual members.

There are some classic folk pieces present, with opening track ‘Reckless’ setting a great foot-stomping tone, harking back to tales of the working poor without taking itself too seriously. A similar thread can also be found in ‘Real Jig’, which as its title suggests is an authentic accompaniment for any drunken revelry. Gypsy folk is also catered for with the poppy ‘Stella’, injecting the intonation of the sub-genre with some of the biggest production seen on the album. Sophia Pettit's vocals shine throughout, with her versatility acting as a game changer from track to track, the Anglicised American accent complementing the journey and politic of the album. Ben Dorey's lead vocals are also a well served element on ‘Contact’.

Unlike many of their predecessors and contemporaries, The Mother Folkers use groove and more modern dynamics on tracks like ‘Too Much Time’ and ‘Ill Nino’, changing the pace of the album and avoiding it becoming homogeneous. The key to the band lies in this gift for self-discipline and sublime production, with the laid-back and riotous lying only a few bars apart.

Spinning Yarns can be seen as a general review of the folk landscape, with the name of the album showing that the band want to uphold traditions carried forward within the wide spectrum of the genre. It somehow manages to act as a tribute to their musical influences while delivering an uncynical joie de vivre that is befitting, authentic and original.

Ideas On A Postcard