Farefeld - Game of Halves

2024 studio album

Game of Halves - Farefeld

the bright young folk review

Farefeld, previously known as Chris Elliott and Caitlin Jones, are a duo of young singers and multi-instrumentalists from Staffordshire. Their second album Game of Halves, published almost five years after their debut Carry Me Home, is a collection of ten songs, mostly self-penned, taking inspiration from the stories and places of their native county and further afield.

From the opening When I’m Home to the evergreen The Parting Glass which closes the album, from the light-hearted The Christmas Goose to the sentimental Silence on our Street, soaring whistles and flute solos and warm melodeon passages enrich a varied patchwork of tales and images, old and new, filled with humour, nostalgia or the joy of living, delivered through well-calibrated harmonies and arrangements infused with both English and Irish elements.

As one could expect, there are a number of references to Staffordshire towns and places, like in Go Along to Kinver or in Queen of the Wych Elm, but there is also a noticeable amount of more exotic glimpses. Take, for example, the many geographical references in Somewhere Down the Road.

The album’s title track, possibly the most striking one, is a tribute to Jimmy Seed (1895-1966), football player and manager who survived World War One to score plenty of goals for Tottenham Hotspur in the First Division, also winning an FA Cup with the North London side.

Among the many themes, travel seems to be one of the core concepts of the album, whether you see it as a physical journey or a life path, a detail that makes the overall result more enjoyable. In spite of the many personal experiences that have influenced these lyrics, Game of Halves conveys a universal message of hope, serenity and harmony one can easily relate to, a proof this young duo has reached full artistic maturity.

Michele Mele

Released on 21 January 2024 on CD and digitally. Recorded at Alma Vale Studios, Bristol

1. When I’m Home
2. Somewhere Down the Road
3. Queen of the Wych Elm
4. Game of Halves
5. Frowning Far too Much
6. The Christmas Goose
7. Silence on Our Street
8. Go Along to Kinver
9. Old Maui
10. The Parting Glass

Farefeld discography