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Marina Florance Marina Florance
Album: Fly Beyond The Border
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 12

History is a funny thing, written by the victors, interpreted in so many different ways. To some a list of dates featuring the great and the good, others a place to learn from the past and shape the future. One of the big changes in the teaching of history has been in trying to get into the mind set of history, imagine being a soldier in Cromwell's New Model Army, imagine being a farmer during the repeal of the corn laws etc. Interestingly, most of those scenarios feature those on the receiving end, rather than those credited with creating the grand plans, which is, let's face it, most of us.

Similarly, those that saw Victoria Wood's excellent portrayal of House Wife 49 couldn't help but be moved by the beautifulness of the mundane, history captured by the people, for the people and about the people.

And if you want to pull those two threads together, it brings you to the songwriting skills of one Marina Florance, an artist that we have praised often in these pages and no doubt will do again and perhaps in 30 years time school pupils will be asked to imagine the early 21st century through the songs of Marina Florance and "Fly Beyond The Border" will be an essential part of that canon of work.

Marina is a wordsmith that has a knack of capturing the ordinary and reminding us of it's importance. Memories and perceptions are an essential part of understanding and it's a theme that gets returned to in a number of different ways across the dozen tracks that make up "Fly Beyond The Border". It's also the setting of the songs, folk, blues, a hint of fado and/or chanson, the songs get the music that best help them be expressed.

"247 News" features Johnno Casson, an artist that Marina has worked closely with over a number of projects, but this song really does express the dangers of 24 hour 7 days a week where the rush to have some news, any news, seems to be a license to forget to check the facts, and move on before anyone has really digested the issues and that lightbulb moment when you realise that you can do very little on your own and yet realise the dangers of staying switched on as well as the danger of wanting to switch off, very much the 21st century paradox

"Fly Beyond The Border", I'll leave you to interpret the title, is a really interesting album, the playing around with styles makes it highly enjoyable. The immense songwriting skills of Marina Florance, ensures that whilst there is much in the narrative that is familiar, it remains very much original and one to be savoured.

Neil King