Twelfth Day: Cracks in the Room

review twelth x1 cong

This slightly left-field folk album might take you unawares at first, as Twelfth Day play standard folk subtly melded with jazz and classical — some parts are more akin to chamber music – with added eccentricity thrown in.

Twelfth Day is Catriona Price, a singer and fiddler from Orkney, and Esther Swift, singer and harpist from the Scottish borders. Opener Another Time is folk with a classic bent, the harp and fiddle a mix of classical and Celtic folk. That mix is enough to unsettle the ears and the next song is more so but quirkier: Cracks opens with jazz fiddle and is half-spoken. It seems to be about a woman beating herself up, literally, to conform: “She plucked herself, she trimmed herself, she squeezed herself…she crushed herself, she spunned herself, she tricked herself, she baked herself, she caked herself, she cleansed herself” on to “she caged herself, she blinded herself” and “she punched herself”.

Stop Talking It is slightly wonky pop, Olive Branch English folk while the Celtic figures in songs such as the opening track and Gold And Swilling. Another Phase in History is a mournful (could there be any other?) song about refugees.

Once you get that first play over, it’s an endearing and charming album that’s a definite grower.

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