When a group of talented musicians who have already gained fame and appreciation as soloists decide to come together and form a new group, it’s not for granted that the final result will be up to the expectations. In the case of The Furrow Collective, however, the artists have reached a level of cohesion and unity so high that the goal is absolutely achieved. One of the reasons that made it possible is the fact that the music played by The Furrow Collective is composed by subtractions rather than overlaps, and each one of the participants has shown great wisdom and talen in dosing his own contribution without ever trying to stand out among the others. The video the band made for Polly Vaughn, a song of their 2017’s EP The Tamosher, explains this particular approach much better than what I can do with my words.
The Furrow Collective is an English/Scottish traditional folk band, formed by artists of the caliber of Alasdair Roberts, Lucy Farrell (from the Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell duo), Rachel Newton and Emily Portman. In the timespan of 5 years the band has released 3 full-lenght studio albums, and has already won the attention of both fans and critics. Fathoms is their most recent record, published in November 2018, and it confirms all the qualities that these musicians had already shown in their previous releases.
From a musical point Fathoms offers a particular and intriguing version of traditional folk which is enriched with many atmospheric and ambient-like elements. The tones are extremely delicate and, as I alerady mentioned, the overall lightness of the songs is mostly due to the impressive work that was done by each member of the band to keep his contribution extremely minimal, at times almost imperceptible. Many of the melodies in Fathoms are only alluded, outlined, rather than completely defined by the instruments, and this helps the music to be always ethereal and suspended. All of this doesn’t apply to the lyrics, which are absolutely clear and moving, as per the folk tradition.
With Fathoms The Furrow Collective has given a further confirmation of the talent of the musicians involved, and also the perfect cohesion that they have reached as a group. Musically speaking, this is and extremely precious and delicate version of traditional folk that grows from the silence and which, because of that, risks to be dampened by the background noise. This music is not meant for being played from the speakers of the car or listened when you travel in the subway, it would be crashed from the external chaos. The songs of Fathoms, on the other hand, have the power to make you fly over distant and magic worlds, you have only to find the right moment to do it.
The album can be streamed from Spotify.
Standout tracks: The Cruel Grave, Write Me Down and The Cabin Boy.
If you liked the music from The Furow Collective, you will love my playlist MELANCHOLIC FOLK. More than 3 hours with the most moving and engaginf folk songs.