|Lisa Knapp — Hidden Seam |
Lisa Knapp — Hidden Seam
•• Indeed, Knapp’s vocal isn’t too dissimilar to Björk‘s at times, especially when reaching the higher notes. Come to think of it, Shipping Song wouldn’t sound out of place as a Björk track, thanks to its esoteric nature.
♠♠ Lisa Knapp was hailed as one of Brit folk's brightest new young stars when she appeared as if from nowhere with her stirring, passionate debut album, Wild and Undaunted, in 2007. Yet by then Knapp was already over 30 and married with a small daughter, having discovered folk music relatively late after spending her teenage years going to raves and dancing to hip-hop records.
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Album release: September 16, 2013
Record Label: Navigator
01. Shipping Song (5:00)
02. Hidden Seam (5:39)
03. Ruler Of The Rest (3:52)
04. Black Horse (feat. James Yorkston) (4:28)
05. Seagiver (5:50)
06. Two Ravens (feat. Martin Carthy) (4:04)
07. Hunt The Hare Part I (feat. Alasdair Roberts) (4:10)
08. Hunt The Hare Part II (feat. Alasdair Roberts) (3:53)
09. Hushabye (feat. Kathryn Williams) (4:42) // Track 1 written by Gerry Diver / Lisa Knapp
Tracks 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 written by Lisa Knapp
Track 4 written by Christine Collins / Lal Waterson
Track 9 written by Lisa Knapp / Kathryn Williams
♠ David Angel Design, Photography
♠ Martin Carthy Featured Artist, Guitar
♠ Oliver Cherer Programming
♠ Christine Collins Composer
♠ Kenny Dickenson Trumpet
♠ Bonnie Diver Vocals
♠ Gerry Diver Autoharp, Composer, Engineer, Foot Stamps, Glockenspiel, Guitar (Bass), Guitar (Tenor), Keyboards, Mixing, Pedal Steel, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Programming, Recorder, String Arrangements, Strings
♠ Pete Flood Drums, Percussion
♠ Jonathan Hennessey-Brown Cello
♠ Lisa Knapp Autoharp, Composer, Drums, Glass Harp, Hammer Dulcimer, Harp, Percussion, Programming, Viola, Vocals
♠ Zi Lan Guzheng
♠ Alasdair Roberts Featured Artist, Guitar, Vocals
♠ Lal Waterson Composer
♠ Marry Waterson Vocals
♠ Nick Watson Mastering
♠ Kathryn Williams Arranger, Composer, Featured Artist, Vocals
♠ James Yorkston Featured Artist, Vocals
•• After a long hiatus following the success of her first album, Knapp's second album, Hidden Seam comes highly anticipated and is expected to be full of many more musical revelations that will only build on her already esteemed musical foundation.
•• "It's been six years since Lisa Knapp shook up the British folk scene with her debut album, Wild and Undaunted, and now, at last, there is a followup. Once again, there is considerable input from her highly experimental musical partner and husband, Gerry Diver, so it was to be expected that this set would be packed with different effects. There's everything here from a recording of US Marine Corps sound tests to a telephone message, but there are also strings, piano and famous guests: guitar from Martin Carthy, and duets with James Yorkston, Alasdair Roberts and Kathryn Williams. •• It's over-produced at times, but it works thanks to Knapp's fine instrumental work and atmospheric, acrobatic vocals on songs that twist, turn and constantly surprise. •• Anyone who can transform a list of the British Sea Areas (Viking, Fastnet and the rest) into a drifting, moody ballad is worth checking out."
•• Du british folk alternatif, a découvrir.
By David Meller | 15 September 2013 | Score: ****
•• Aside from 2012 EP Hunt The Hare, it’s taken six years or so for BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominee Lisa Knapp to really follow her critically acclaimed debut Wild And Undaunted. That’s not to say she hasn’t been busy, mind.
•• In between, Knapp has toured with James Yorkston and worked with husband Gerry Diver on the Irish-inspired Speech Project, which took the rhythm and key of spoken word pieces by the likes of Shane MacGowan and Damien Dempsey and, through recording software, used them to create musical pieces. In the process, it showed how spoken word has a sort of melody and music embedded into it. It has been described as “a kind of folk minimalism on the cutting edge of folk crossover”.
•• Hidden Seam isn’t quite as avant-garde sounding as that. Nevertheless, some facets of and ideas explored in Speech Project have filtered into Knapp’s second album — perhaps unsurprisingly, given Diver produced the album and worked on its arrangements.
•• Opener Shipping Song takes the BBC Radio 4 Shipping Forecast and conveys its sleep-inducing elegance brilliantly through gentle, slow-tempoed melodies that include measured drum and electro beats, subtle acoustic guitar and a drawn out yet beautifully sung list of coastal stations. Indeed, Knapp’s vocal isn’t too dissimilar to Björk‘s at times, especially when reaching the higher notes. Come to think of it, Shipping Song wouldn’t sound out of place as a Björk track, thanks to its esoteric nature.
•• The title track then takes the album into this so-called folk minimalism, with the track beginning with repetitive, flute-sounding melodies verging on Philip Glass like, before being subtly transposed onto violin. This gradual build-up eventually leads into something quite bold, especially when drums arrive and Knapp begins, from the sound of it, to speak in tongues and enter into a type of breathless incantation. As a title, Hidden Seam is quite appropriate here, suggesting something lurking beneath the predictable and recurrent.
•• Black Horse sees Knapp set alongside Yorkston, with their intense vocals entwining and weaving into one another. This, along with its lyrics (“You ride the black horse and I’ll ride the white, mine is the day time and yours is the night”) and pounding drums produce something at the more traditional end of folk. Yet this makes the last minute or so all the more surprising, as this fades away to leave you with a tender, almost lo-fi sounding outro with soft, hissing, sparse piano accompanying Knapp and Marry Waterson as they repeat lyrics with a deep emotional delicacy. Again, this represents something hidden and unexpected beneath.
•• Seagiver links back to Shipping Song well not only because of its link with the seas, but it again has that obvious Björk tint to it — perhaps more so thanks to its sweeping arrangements and grand sound. Yet Knapp’s vocal shines particularly here, reaching impressive heights and complementing the arrangements beautifully. It’s a testament to Diver’s arrangement ability.
•• Album closer Hushabye again offers a link to opener Shipping Song, in turn bookending the album well, by reciting bits of the shipping forecast again (“Rockall, occasional rain but mainly fair, slight or moderate”) and offering a lullaby-like aspect through its lyrics (“Hushabye baby, hushabye love, rest to the fading light of the sun”) and pedal steel guitar. A fitting and rather lovely closer.
•• The pleasing subtleties and twists in Hidden Seam, coupled with Diver’s skilful production and Knapp’s huge talent, have produced a beautiful follow-up here. Ardent folk and Knapp fans will feel it’s been worth the wait — and will hope the third album doesn’t take as long to follow. Fortaken: http://www.musicomh.com/
The Observer | Sunday 22 September 2013 | Score: *****
•• Lisa Knapp is a folk singer, yet the F-word can't encompass the ambition of this second album, parts of which would fit on a Björk record: "avant-folk", maybe. Largely self-written, it's much shaped by producer Gerry Diver (Knapp's husband), who mixes electro-lite touches with tinkling acoustics, and on Seagiver and Hidden Seam elaborate strings and charging drums, providing a brooding backdrop for Knapp's vocal gymnastics. The Shipping Song elaborates the maritime spell of Radio 4's shipping forecast, Two Ravens is a mournful look at Alzheimer's, while tradition shines brightly on Hunt the Hare, a larkish duet with Alasdair Roberts. A masterful creation. (http://www.theguardian.com/)
•• ***** — The Observer
•• **** — The Guardian
•• "a masterpiece" — folkradio.co.uk
•• "Long may she sail" **** — Songlines
•• "one very fine release indeed..." — Fiona Talkington, Late Junction, BBC Radio 3
•• ‘It’s easy to see why this singer is the toast of the folk scene…her vocals, like those of Anne Briggs, come across as strange and stirring as a spring day.’ — The Observer
•• ‘A major discovery’ — Mojo
Press: Harriet Simms @ Glass Ceiling PR
Agent: Sarah Coxson at Alan Bearman Music — http://www.alanbearmanmusic.co.uk/
By Tom Bolton, September 11, 2013
|Lisa Knapp — Hidden Seam |