August 10, 2017 by Adam Wilson
Jack Harris The Wide Afternoon
I remember seeing Jack Harris play a set in the Saloon stage at Truck Festival a few years back. I really like what I heard and made a mental note to investigate his excellent music further. And when Winter Wilson appeared on the show to do a live session in 2016 I asked them to choose some tracks they enjoyed by other artists or bands. It just so happened one of them was by Jack Harris, Sylvia Plath’s Lullaby, a superb song from The Flame and the Pelican.
So I was delighted when I discovered Jack had a long awaited new album out, produced by Gerry Diver, a fine producer. The album is The Wide Afternoon. Listen to it and you can completely see why fellow singer songwriter, and another Quiet Revolution favourite Anais Mitchell describes him as “a priest of song” and Q magazine refer to him as “a unique lyrical mind”.
The album offers 11 new songs inflected with folk and blues. The overall sound of the album is fascinating in itself, Gerry Diver weaving in violins and eerie percussion. There are songs of dangerous men, literary women, stolen horses, waterlogged houses and vanished birds. All in all another brilliant release from the Welsh singer songwriter.
Devon Sproule The Gold String
I’ve been a fan of Devon Sproule’s music since I was sent a copy of her 2007 album Keep Your Silver Shined. A great album and I’ve followed the Canadian/American musician’s career since then. A couple of releases have followed that one on Coventry-based record label Tin Angel Records and an excellent collaboration with Mike O’Neill called Colours.
So I was really pleased that Devon released a new album this year, The Gold String. And as you might imagine it’s another superb record. Great live too, I was lucky enough to catch Devon at The Greystokes in Sheffield in March. But don’t just take my word for it, here’s what others have said “Sproule’s lyrics glance off each other arrestingly, juxtaposing images.” (Financial Times) and “Her quirky affectations bring to mind Bjork, and forays into the dark, Michelle Shocked.” (Village Voice).