Edgelarks – Edgelarks

Album Review | Dragonfly Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 5/5

Standing back to back on the sleeve of their latest album, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin enchant before a single note is played.  Birds circle the margins as the duo’s newly adopted name suggests, serving as an eloquent introduction to the twelve songs included within, which enchant equally. Hannah Martin’s mature vocal delivery has either developed over time or maybe it’s always been that way without us really noticing.  Rich in texture, due in no small part to John Elliott’s special touches, the songs are allowed to breathe through the duo’s arrangements, from the opening song, “Landlocked” through to the eastern influenced sound of “The Good Earth”.  Conceived in Australia while out there on tour and recorded in Cornwall, the album also features Phillip Henry’s familiar slide guitar and beatbox harmonica playing, both understated and never getting in the way, therefore allowing each song to remain uncluttered with only the essentials shining through.  The songs indeed shine through, with two of them having previously been aired during Hannah’s tenure with the Shake the Chains project, the almost whispered “Yarl’s Wood” and the exceptionally tender “Song of the Jay”.  Adding to the Indian flavour of this and other songs on the album is Niall Robinson on Tabla, with other contributions from Lukas Drinkwater on bass.  “We’re all passing through” suggests the sleeve notes – be sure to let Edgelarks pass through you.