Beautifully understated alt folk from Bristol’s Joyce the Librarian…
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Joyce the Librarian are a new folk/acoustic ensemble from Bristol lead by singer-songwriter Martin Callingham. Their music is soft and understated and disarmingly beautiful in its simplicity.
Reactions to the album so far:
- Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music
“Joyce the Librarian are awesome.”
- Simon Raymonde, Amazing Radio/Bella Union
“An immaculate confection”
- Clash Magazine
“A really, really good record!”
- Gideon Coe, BBC 6 Music
“Understated and recklessly charming”
- Tim Carroll, Folkwords
- Wales Online
“With delightful, well-constructed melodies, layered hymnal vocals and finger plucking goodness, it is the perfect autumnal release”
- Folk Radio UK
“Honest, personal and acutely melodic song-writing, it’s gentle and begging to be played more”
- Indie London
“This is a high quality debut album… well worth the listen.”
- Michael Farley, Americana UK
“…this is a bold debut that will find favour in both indie and traditional music circles, making a pitch for the narrow territory between, say, Laura Marling, Noah & the Whale and the godfathers of it all, Belle & Sebastian.”
- Nick Churchill, FATEA
“…a combination of charming folk and poignant optimism…astute lyrics working alongside a delicate melody to form a profoundly touching piece of music.”
“Expect big things from this band with an impressive debut like this one.”
- Jason Ritchie, Get Ready To Rock
“…a distinctive and original-sounding take on the folk-pop genre…definitely worth a listen.”
- Gethin Webster, Artree.org.
“The single and ‘Land’, the title track, both grabbed my attention immediately as did ‘Turn Yourself In’ and ‘Over Dinmore’ and that, for me, is a high strike rate. Joyce The Librarian are following a path of their own and it will be fascinating to see where it takes them.”
- Dai Jeffries, Folking.com
“Joyce The Librarian is a touching and really quite sad, yet softly comic song by Richard Stilgoe and Peter Skellern. They May Put Land Between Us is an often touching and sometimes also quite sad album by a Bristolian band that has taken that song as its name.
You can hear those facets most ably displayed in Land, from which the lyric that titles the album is taken – they are in the cello, trumpet and flugelhorn which give that song its quiet yearnings, and summs up what is particularly good about this record. Our day will come, insists its lyrics; for the song’s protagonists you’re left not truly sure whether it ever will, and because of that, the understated determination and longings of the song really pull at the heartstrings.
Like their namesake, their folk-indie songs, while not comic, touch upon a sense of wryness that’s enough to make us smile, enhancing rather than detracting from the wistfulness of the overall mood of the record. Follow Me I’m Right Behind You says one song title. This is it, it’s a smile delivered alongside a pang of loss or unrequited feelings, or conversely of inner strength and stoic confidence.”
- Ian Abrahams, R2/Rock’n'Reel, Jan/Feb 2013
“As I listened to the first track; Traps, I had a horrible feeling that this was just going to be an homage to Nick Drake or Sufjan Stevens; but by the time I’d finished listening to the whole album I’d been swept back to the first time I heard the both Cowboy Junkies and Prefab Sprout and was subsequently smitten.
Nothing on THEY MUST PUT LAND BETWEEN US ever gets out of second gear; but that’s the point on this lyrically beautiful work of art; it is what the young people would call ‘music to chill to.’
Every song here will appeal to someone, in much the same way that every Leonard Cohen fan has their own personal favourite; because he wrote it about ‘them;’ if you know what I mean.
Although all the songs were written by Martin Callingham and he sings and plays guitar on every track; I’m not actually sure who else is a member of Joyce the Librarian; as it took 9 people playing an assortment of instruments from acoustic guitars to flugelhorns to create this gloriously simple sound and each individual must be congratulated.
In this vacuous age of downloads and ‘radio hits’ this is one of the few album I’ve heard recently that actually is a complete work; and should be listened to in it’s entirety; just like the good old days.
That said; Follow Me (I’m Right Behind You) offers up divine harmonies and an adorable melody; making it stand head and shoulders above everything else; but only like a poppy does in a golden field of corn.
THEY MAY PUT LAND BETWEEN US straddles the nu-folk and what used to be known as lo-fi with admirable dexterity and I heartily endorse it as it will be perfect listening for both cold Winter evenings and Summer sunsets.”
- Alan Harrison, No Depression
Follow Me I’m Right Behind You is the gorgeous single from the album, released in September 2012:
Follow Me I’m Right Behind You – Joyce The Librarian
About Joyce The Librarian:
Joyce the Librarian are a new folk/acoustic ensemble from Bristol lead by singer-songwriter Martin Callingham. Their music is soft and understated and disarmingly beautiful in its simplicity. Their self-released debut EP The Weight of the Line attracted airplay and some great reviews:
“Their sound is understated but undeniably beautiful.” – Ian Parker, For Folk’s Sake
“…satisfyingly grand for a debut EP…hit the replay button; there are new things to discover with each listen.” – Taylor Nugent, Thank Folk For That
“Gorgeous debut release from everso gentle Bristol folkies…Our Day Will Come they softly sing and with songs as beautiful as these they needn’t worry, indeed it surely will.” - Subba-Cultcha