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Lindsay Straw Lindsay Straw
Album: The Fairest Flower Of Womankind
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 13

Feminism and folk don't always go hand in hand. Take a song like Blackwaterside, which features a young maiden tricked into giving up her maidenhead by a roguish suitor who taunts her for believing him. There aren't all that many songs where the woman saves the day. For her second record, Lindsay Straw has managed to track down an album full of feminist folk songs, giving more uplifting narratives of women in traditional music.

It all started with one song, Geordie. It is Straw's favourite on the album, from it comes the title of the album, and it led her on a search to uncover more such songs where the women triumph. Some of these will be familiar to many; The Outlandish Knight has been covered by Kadia and Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston among others. William Taylor has been sung by the likes of Frankie Armstrong, Jim Moray and Jon Boden.

While the familiarity of these songs could lead to a feeling of déjà vu, Straw's vocals elevate this and makes it feel as fresh as if you are hearing these for the first time. She has an incredible warmth and depth to her voice that draws you in and refuses to let you go. Not that you'll want to be released. While the music is strictly traditional, the vocals are anything but.

Funded in part by Club Passim's Iguana Grant, and a Kickstarter campaign, this is a folk album that should get Straw a lot of attention. These are inspirational songs telling stories about women through the ages, and this is an album that should really raise her profile.

Adam Jenkins