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LUCY WARD - I Dreamt I Was A Bird

LUCY WARD - I Dreamt I Was A Bird
Betty Beetroot Records BETTY01

I Dreamt I Was A Bird is Lucy Ward’s third album. The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Newcomer (2012) winner continues to follow a path paved with thoughtful self-penned songs and an occasional traditional track - Lord Randall in this case, given an eerie and dramatic treatment. Her vocal style is not that of a traditional folkie, however – far closer to Joni Mitchell, a hint of Nico and the Velvet Underground and a liberal dash of prog folk/rock. Even when joined by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, the sound is other-worldly and ominous, not Hovis advert.

This album has a theme – “about being grounded, being of and for the landscape, whether urban or rural”, in Lucy’s own words. This is thought-provoking songwriting and as far from folk easy-listening as it’s possible to get. That’s not to say it’s hard work and not tuneful, but it’s not an album to put on to be cheered up. Song For Lola comes closest to being cheery – a gentle love song to the “sweet summer child” who nonetheless has “thorns in her side”.

So – this is extremely impressive songwriting, beautifully sung and produced with a stellar cast of musicians including Megson’s Stu Hannah.

Alan Murray

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This album was reviewed in Issue 113 of The Living Tradition magazine.