bright young folk

Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley discography

Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley - Across the Water

2016 studio album

the bright young folk review

Across The Water is a solid, if safe, debut album from duo Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley.

The best tracks throughout the album are undoubtedly the tunes. Bethan’s is a trio of tunes that starts off light and breezy before transforming into something altogether more lively. The end result is a heady mix of music.

Enrico meanwhile is a sparkling polka (supposedly beloved of Thomas Hardy) that is just one of those tunes that instils an irrepressible urge to get up and dance. Beazley’s fiddle work is rather charming, and Cumming’s accordion gives it a real sense of warmth. The Breakfast Set is an 8:20 extravaganza which, despite its length, never tires nor bores.

The songs are good, but fail to captivate in the same way the tunes do. Cumming provides good vocals, but they aren’t quite as enjoyable as his accordion or Beazley’s fiddle. Combined with the fact that the instrumentation inevitably takes a back seat to the vocals, the songs do tend to be less engaging than the tunes, which is a shame.

The exception though is Billy Taylor, a standard story of a young maid who dresses as a man and joins the navy to pursue her true love, then shoots him when he proves unfaithful. The vocals have just that extra bit of life, wit and variety than elsewhere on the album.

Cumming & Beazley are clearly accomplished players who are capable of creating some quite lovely music. Across The Water has the occasional mis-step, but it’s a strong foundation on which to build in future. Their next effort should be even more exciting.

James Motteram

Released 9 December 2016 on Proper Music.

1. Bonny Ship The Diamond
2. Bethan’s
3. Billy Taylor
4. The Breakfast Set
5. Streets Of Forbes
6. Lachlan Tigers
7. Enrico
8. Bold Fisherman
9. Across The Water
10. Come Me Lads

Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley discography

Across the Water - Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley
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