I've long been a fan of the Carrivick Sisters, Charlotte and Laura, so when a couple of years back an EP from a group called Cardboard Fox, dropped on the mat at the Fatea office, I was pleased to see, that like many folk artists, the sisters had become involved in another musical venture to give expression to other parts of their musical passions.
Cardboard Fox saw the addition of John Breese and Joe Tozer and saw a drift to a more bluegrass. More oldtimey influenced sound. That initial self-titled EP brought about an immediate invite and accepted invite to be part of the 2015 Fatea Showcase Sessions. 2016 is proving to be an even more exciting year with the release of their full length debut "Out Of Mind".
"Out Of Mind" is one of the most inappropriately named albums to have crossed my desk recently as "Out Of Mind" is the last thing this album is, once heard, it's an album that lingers very much in the consciousness and that's not in an earworm sort of way, though "Girls Chase Boys", has definite earworm tendencies, more one where you find yourself thinking in those moments of silent retrospection. Similarly you may find yourself tapping along to a melody that's no longer there, but that's a different story.
Cardboard Fox have three things going for them, great instrumentation, vocal harmonies that are not only stand out, they are to die for and an uncanny ability to pick up on influences from both side of the pond and apply them in various proportions to create an album that is at the same time Transatlantic and of both shores.
If there was an issue with "Cardboard Fox EP" it was that despite the carefully crafted textures and rich harmonics that ideas were still slightly mercurial, not fully formed, that the quartet were a work in progress and the great thing is it's true of "Out Of Mind" there are times where you feel they are still experimenting with sounds and ideas, but at no time do any of the songs feel incomplete, more that when played live they may take on a different character than the album version, never a bad thing.
"Out Of Mind" is assured and distinctive, you may know the influences, but those influences have been explored and adapted to give Cardboard Fox a sound of their own, one you can't quite land, but ultimately it's that feeling that they are playing with your line that makes them such a joy to listen to.
|Solarference: Locks & Bolts||Various Artists: UCLU Folk & World Music Society Compilation Album Volume II|
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