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Story Records STREC1662

From turbulence and trauma, Ange Hardy has found transcendence in music. Findings - the title refers to the term used for parts which join jewellery components – is her fifth studio album, her first as a duo with the highly experienced multi-instrumentalist and session musician, Lukas Drinkwater. Firmly rooted in the folk idiom, in Findings, accessible and attractive melodies combine with strong narrative lyrics, to produce 14 entrancing and well-crafted songs, plus two tunes.

Together Ange and Lukas have created a beautiful weave of the old and the new, the intimate and the social, capturing the mystery and lore of Somerset in a homely dream-like atmosphere. Harmonies are prevalent, whether between the pair, or, on True Are The Mothers, with Nancy Kerr and Kathryn Roberts.

There are fine variations in style and pace across the songs, at times relaxed, rhythmic or rousing. Ange’s harp and whistles feature throughout, and Lukas’s guitar is especially notable in The Berkshire Tragedy. The range of subject matter is broad, covering the immigration crisis, young carers, lullabies, family and local history. Arrangements of three traditional songs are included, with the innovation of interlacing extracts of others e.g. Little Boy Blue, The Parting Glass into new compositions. Steve Pledger co-wrote Far Away From Land. A comprehensive booklet contains the lyrics and players for each track, with informative song notes.

With subtle strength, and quiet assurance, Findings is soothing and intriguing, warm, and thoroughly enjoyable, sound testimony to the highly professional qualities and skills of its creators.

Jim McCourt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 117 of The Living Tradition magazine.