The biography of young Scottish folksinger and songwriter Claire Hastings says that despite already at primary school her teachers noticed how good was her voice, she didn’t pursue music until she arrived at the University. In a few years, however, she managed to compensate for all the time lost and, impressively, she was named “BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year” even before releasing her debut album (Between River and Railway)
This year Claire Hastings has released her second LP, named Those Who Roam, and we may enjoy once again the talent of one of the most promising figures of contemporary folk.
The music of Those Who Roam represents a gentle and serene version of folk, as evidenced by the fact that most of the songs bring with them a cheerful and positive spirit, while only a couple of songs are touched by shadows and melancholy. The LP is nice to hear and it higlights the good work that was done by all the musicians that were called to support: Jenn Butterworth on guitar, Laura Wilkie on fiddle, Thomas Gibbs on piano and Andrew Waite on accordion.
The element that stands out the most in this record, however, remains the beautiful voice of the singer, and this is perhaps also the limit of the album. Basically all the songs of Those Who Roam are nice and graceful, but some of them, in the end, don’t manage to really touch the depths of your soul.
My overall rating for the album is 6/10. Those Who Roam is like a nice walk in a flowery park, under the sun. A sun that, however, still can’t make you feel warm, it’s only a slight sensation that you have on the skin.
My favorite songs are the opening track The Lothian Hairst, King of California and Seven Gypsies.
The Lothian Hairst, from Claire Hastings’ new LP, is now featured in MELANCHOLIC FOLK. Check it out.