Mawkin are back at centre-stage with a riotous new album, packed full of energy and rebellious spirit.
As its title suggests, The Ties that Bind is themed around links between people, places and things, which seems appropriate given that Mawkin connect music from a wide range of genres and countries, as well as coupling traditional songs with contemporary stylings.
This Essex-based band has come a long way since starting out as a trio back in 2002. The current five-piece line-up includes James Delarre on vocals and fiddle, his brother David Delarre on vocals, mandolin and guitar, Nick Cooke on melodeon, Danny Crump on bass guitar and Lee Richardson hammering out the rhythm on drums.
The album is well-rooted in tradition, and includes many songs on an historical theme, but it’s all been given a modern twist which is sure to get you dancing. The Frenchy Set, for example, begins with an old French dance tune, but is brought bang up to date with the addition of more modern tunes and a pulsing rhythm on the drums. Toe tapping is guaranteed, even for the most reluctant of dancers!
Rousing choruses are a theme across the album too. The first track, I Can Hew, is so catchy that it’s bound to get you singing at the top of your voice from the very beginning. It’s followed up by a drinking song called Jolly Well Drunk, which is an earworm to say the least, and is likely to get you some odd looks as you mutter about getting jolly well drunk wherever you go!
The origins of the tunes featured on the album are widespread. Duo features a Breton tune which melts effortlessly into a Finnish polka, and this is followed up by Love Farewell which is set to a Swedish tune. It’s like a tour of world music all caught up in one album.
True to its title, The Ties that Bind is sure to get listeners hooked, with its high-energy line-up of danceworthy tunes, catchy choruses and first-rate musicianship.Lucy Houlden
Released on Good Form Records on 13th July 2015
1. I Can Hew
2. Jolly Well Drunk
3. Song on the Times
4. Birds Upon a Tree
5. The Frenchy Set
7. Searching for Lambs
9. My Love Farewell
10. Shanghai Brown
11. Young May Moon