Following up last May's EC1M comes the second in a trilogy of EP releases from India Electric Co. contrasting country and city themes. As with the previous release, this was recorded in the glorious surroundings of the National Trust's Sutton House in Hackney, one of the oldest buildings in the East End of London. Produced with assistance from the EFDSS Creative Bursary scheme, fusing folk backdrops with unique arrangements.
Starting with some outstanding fiddle playing, The Gulley takes its vocals from the 19th century poem Alice Gray by William Mee. The tune itself comes from Rusty Gulley, a 17th century hornpipe. There, in a nutshell, you have the secret to India Electric Co's success. They take traditional music and give it a contemporary twist, and while this isn't a new idea, the result is an utter delight. Elsewhere we have modern takes on a traditional Scots song (Take The Buckles), and a take on Flash Company that is near definitive.
Chaos is a particularly strong track, based on W.H. Auden's Age Of Anxiety and mixing in piano and offbeat bodhran. The result is a pulsating and effervescent joy. The Cuckoo's Nest (My Generous Lover) sees the Morris dance blended with the story of a girl disowned by her family for loving the wrong man. The instrumental set of Peacock Follow The Hen, Jockey Lay Up In The Hayloft, Seven Sisters, Kemp's Jig, an Barbara Allen, won't be to everyone's tastes perhaps. It is undoubtedly a masterclass and showcases the incredible skills of Cole Stacey and Joseph O'Keefe. It's a set to be savoured, so lie back, close your eyes, and allow yourself to be carried away.
Certainly this EP builds on the incredible and exciting promise of EC1M, and if the third in the trilogy hits these heights, it is going to be a special collection indeed. In many ways this is perhaps a folk album for people who don't think they like folk. If we take out the instrumental set, these songs are as fresh and accessible as any pop tunes, but with far greater depth. India Electric Co. have the genuine potential to achieve mainstream success, and I can't wait for the next EP.
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