David Gibb and Elly Lucas’ second album Up Through the Woods is a worthy successor to their debut Old Chairs to Mend.
The duo make good use of their native county of Derbyshire as a rich mine of inspiration for their songwriting - from the simple pleasures of taking the dog for a walk in the woods, documented in the title track, to anger at the redevelopment of a city centre (A Place Called Home); from the industrial history of the region (Jackwire and Wheeltapper) to a chance find in an antique shop (Four Poster Bath).
The addition of guest musicians has allowed David and Elly to produce a much fuller sound on this album: Elly’s song Paper Boat features her ethereal vocals, reflecting the fragility of the subject matter. The song is based over a melodeon drone, giving a rather whimsical and psychedelic quality.
Oli Matthew’s lovely clarinet playing adds to the laid back feel of The Way Through the Woods, David’s setting of a Kipling poem. Will Pound’s harmonica can be heard on the skiffle-style Waterloo Johnny, a song which tells the story of the man in the corner of every pub who has a story to tell.
The title track is sung as a round to the morris tune Old Tom of Oxford with only percussion accompaniment from Jim Molyneux. This simple arrangement is very effective.
As a whole, the album contrasts the gentle with the high-energy, the original with the traditiona,l in a way that keeps the listener interested, entertained and wanting more.Shelley Rainey
Released on Hairpin Records, 2nd September 2013
2. The Way Through the Woods
3. Dalmatian Cradle Song
4. England’s Skies
5. Up Through the Woods
6. Four Poster Bath
7. Waterloo Johnny
8. Paper Boat
9. A Place Called Home
10. Lovely Molly
11. Wheel Tapper