This 5 track EP brings together two of Scotland’s strongest folk talents, Lau and Karine Polwart. These artists have featured on each other’s albums before, but this is their first fully fledged collaborative record.
The combination works well, with a quieter, mellower and more reflective Lau. Tthe revelation of the album is just how well the voices of Karine Polwart and Kris Drever complement each other.
The EP opens with its single original composition, ’Evergreen.’ A complex piece that paints a vivid picture of deepest winter, driven by the foreboding fiddle of Aidan O’ Rourke which is perfectly matched by Polwart’s haunting vocals.
The other four tracks are well-judged cover versions. The dark tone continues with ’January Man’ originally by Dave Goulder, describing the passing of the seasons and growing older.
On Lal Waterson’s ’Midnight Feast’, Kris Drever provides the lead vocals and guitar, this time with Karine Polwart’s backing and harmony. Again, their voices are perfectly matched. There is a pleasant change of tone with ’Rags to Riches’ an upbeat and hopeful tale of new beginnings originally from ’The Blue Nile’.
The final track, The Corries’ ’Lord Yester’ opens with a fine instrumental arrangement that is classic Lau, before the voices of Drever and Polwart join in, working particularly well in harmony.
This collaboration feels very natural and on the basis of this excellent EP, I hope there will be more of the same to follow.Mike Hough
Released in May 2010. Recorded in February 2010 at Heriot Toun Studio in The Scottish Borders. Engineered by Mattie Foulds.
1. Evergreen (new, by Karine Polwart and Lau)
2. January Man (by Dave Goulder)
3. Midnight Feast (by Lal Waterson)
4. From rags to riches (by The Blue Nile)
5. Lord Yesterday (by The Corries)