Brimming with fragile folk vibes and earthy textures, Fallingham Fair’s second album Songbook is the lastest release to slot into the current folk music renaissance. In the climate of Ben Howard being voted ’Best Breakthrough Artist’ and Mumford & Sons beating Justin Bieber to the top of the charts, Fallingham Fair are bringing their own brand of homegrown folk to the indie music scene.
Songbook is a collection that offers varied perspectives on music with its considered use of guitar and piano riffs, three-part harmonies and reassuringly familiar melodic ideas. From life reflections in the opening track Dancer, through a quirky and effective use of bugle call in Take Me Home, to calm resignation in the atmospheric Luck, the authentic folk plays like a journey through the hazy memory of a favourite community.
The album has a feeling of fragility; the singer’s voices are authentic and laid-back, and the harmonies are treated without fuss. I particularly liked the strong male vocals in Wonderings, and Aoife McCauley really shines in Red Light. The trio’s sound resembles Mumford & Sons in some moments; in others it evokes Of Monsters And Men. It is a concise and gentle album – perhaps perfect for a rare shimmering mid-summer day spent sitting on a blanket in the middle of a sunny park.
The band are known for their Launderette Sessions (a tour of three cities in three days, staged unconventionally in launderettes) and their 2012 Christmas single, which aired on BBC 6 Music at the end of last year. With the release of Songbook Fallingham Fair’s growing number of followers can expect a continued creative effort as their sound infiltrates the folk awakening that has been so in vogue for the past few years.