Kim Lowings and the Greenwood hit their stride in their rhythmic third album, Wild and Wicked Youth, delivering a tight rhythmic punch throughout.
An equal mix of traditional and original tracks Wild and Wicked Youth is young at heart. This youthfulness is not naïve and one-dimensional. It is a youthfulness that is becoming jaded and cynical, tinged by the growing awareness that there is such a thing as too much of a good time. It’s a stage in life that we’ve all passed through, conflicted between embracing adulthood and partying on.
As the band name suggests, Kim Lowings and her singing is the main feature. The rest of the band expertly play their instruments, keeping their backing lively and punchy without crowding Lowings’ vocals.
Wild and Wicked Youth’s opening track Spirit describes the happy wanderings of a ghost. A completely charming track it’s hard not to immediately like Kim Lowings and the Greenwood. Spirit is an assured mix of rhythms. In this sense it is a great opening for the album, the tracks of which can be easily divided between the fast and slow.
Oh Ye Merry Lassies, falling on the faster side of the divide is the stand out track. A party anthem of the folk variety, it’s a foot tapper that will put anyone in sociable mood.
Oyster Girl is one version of a classic folk story: man meets girl, they rent a room, girl takes all of the man’s property. The fact that in this instance the girl pays for the room before leaving means that the young man emerges better off than most.
The Wonderful Mr. Clark, is as fawning as its title suggests. The ridiculously lopsided picture it paints of Mr. Clark makes it a great love song. It’s not about loving him despite his flaws it’s just pure foolish love.
Wild and Wicked Youth includes more thoughtful moments too. Firestone, is a song of quiet assertive pride. A refusal to be broken.
Written by Lowings, who accompanies herself on the piano, Firestone, like the album at large, reveals a musical instinct that points true north. Bold Riley and Fly Away also hit a contemplative note balancing out the album.
Wild and Wicked Youth is packed with the talent of Kim Lowings and the Greenwood. A carefully balanced album, Lowings’ singing stands out and her original songs hold their own against folk classics such as Bold Riley.Christopher C Leslie
Released on Greenwood Records on September 8, 2017.
1. In Spirit
2. Oyster Girl
3. Farewell My Love So Dear
4. The Cuckoo
5. The Tortoise and the Hare
7. Wyle Cop and The Wonderful Mr. Clark
8. Bold Riley
9. On the Wind and Rain
10. Away Ye Merry Lassies
11. The Newry Highwayman
12. Fly Away