Mawkin:Causley’s long-awaited debut album is here - hooray! Not only that, it’s really good - hooray! The Awkward Recruit features a greater variety of light and shade than their EP Cold Ruin, leading to a more mature feel overall, but with the personality of the band definitely intact.
The band play with aplomb and some great (and unexpected) backing lyrics, whilst Jim Causley continues to confirm his place as one of the best young singers around and a great front man. We also get plenty of Dave Delarre’s percussionistic guitar and the rest of the familiar skillful Mawkin sound.
’L’homme Arme’ and ’Cropper Lads’ have a definite earworm quality, and thankfully are good enough to handle the repeat button in my head. The title track ’The Awkward Recruit’ is a great song with the added bonus of including a mawkin in the lyrics and ’Drummer Boy for Waterloo’ is a beautiful slower affair. I also really enjoy the moments where Jim breaks into a foreign language, something that he clearly seems to relish, and that sounds wonderful yet quite unusual on the record.
The sleeve notes offer a lovely glimpse into the history of each tune and song but are tantalising in a way that means I will be digging deeper into the histories of the Greenlanders and Charing Cross.
With this album Mawkin:Causley confirm their place in the new folk order, perhaps the poster boys and boy band, but only in the best senses.
Released on 20 April 2009 by Navigator records.
1. Jolly Broom Man
2. L’Homme Armé
3. Drummer Boy for Waterloo
4. Keeper of the Game
5. Cutty Wren
6. The Saucy Sailor
7. Todos Los Bienes del Mundo
8. The Downfall of Charing Cross
9. Cropper Lads
11. The Awkward Recruit
12. I am the Song