Playing bass in hardcore and indie bands is not perhaps the usual musical background for a folk artist, however Thom Ashworth delivers a new, refreshing approach to folk music in his debut EP Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. He has an authentic stripped back sound, focussing the listener’s attention on the detail of every word and note.
The ubiquitous ballad Lord Bateman is made his own through Ashworth’s distinctive vocals and his exceedingly skilful use of stripped back accompaniments, eliciting maximum musical and atmospheric impact. Similarly Sydney Carter’s rather dark Crow in the Cradle is delivered in a manner and style that fully immerses the listener.
Ashworth wrote the title track inspired by his reflection on how, through history, technology continues to develop and take over the jobs of ordinary people. This track is a particular highlight with well-constructed lyrics, melody and arrangement coming together in a song which is as contemporary as it is traditional.
His interpretation of Tyne of Harrow is moving in its honesty and simplicity, which belies a carefully constructed arrangement with vocals, bass and percussion building atmosphere and pathos into this tale.
Thom Ashworth has a great voice for folk music and brings a new and enticing approach to traditional songs. If his first self-penned track is an indication of the quality of his writing we can also expect some exciting new material from him.
Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is a really engaging first release and well worth a good listen. This is definitely an artist to look out for.Andy McMillan
Released on 13 January 2017 on 660286 Records DK.
Produced by Thom Ashworth.
1. Tyne Of Harrow
2. Lord Bateman
3. Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture
4. Crow On The Cradle