THE KNIGHT SESSIONS
Big Lake Music
The Girls Are Back In Town And Re-Invent Folk!
Madison Violet aka Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac are an old fashioned Folk duo with a identifiable modern sound all of their own.
Although they have been together (in the musical sense) for 18 years I think it was about 8 years ago when I first saw them at a Jumping Hot Club gig upstairs in the packed Central Bar, Gateshead.
A love affair began that night.
This album begins with a very simple and self-depreciating We Are Famous; but listen carefully and their trademark harmonies will fill your head like a finely woven silken fog.
Both Brenley and Lisa are inordinately talented multi-instrumentalists and for THE KNIGHT SESSIONS they decided to go back beyond basics; trawling the junk shops of Toronto for any discarded sad and lonely ‘toys’ and instruments in need of care and attention but could make an organic sound unlike anything they had made before.
Some older songs have been re-imagined using this format and while it’s not always apparent what is where; the result is exceptional and surpasses the experiment with grace.
These Ships, for instance appears here twice; first as an impassioned acoustic song and then closing the record with a very radio friendly almost Electronica re-mix.
Another song that has been re-worked is Ohio, from YEAR OF THE HORSE and …..wow……the girls voices melt together in a way I’m not sure I’ve ever heard from non-siblings; and the intricate guitar and fiddle playing is stunningly good too.
I wish I knew why; but the ‘Americana/Roots’ music coming out of Canada in the last ten years has generally been of a very high calibre and Madison Violet have been at the forefront; and with beautiful almost lo-fi songs like Don’t Let Your Heart Be Troubled, Operator and How We See Love that trend continues with relish.
Not for the first time Mrs. Magpie and I disagree as to what is the ‘best’ song here; I adore the timeless and heart-shredding Trouble and she insists Hush; something akin to a ‘band effort’ with a slight Reggae tinge to it making it unlike most other Madison Violet efforts makes it the winner.
As usual she is right; of course.
Unlike most of their contemporaries Brenley and Lisa have thrown caution to the wind on this album; obviously keeping their integral ‘sound’ but modernising it and making it accessible for a younger generation while not alienating old fogies like me (and you?) which is quite some feat; and all done without the aid of a safety net.
RELEASED UK May 5th 2017
Released Canada/USA 2nd June 2017