Friday, 13 December 2013

Albums of the Year 2013 #7 - Georgia Ruth - Week Of Pines

Earlier this year when the on-line conversation turned to who would be on this year’s Mercury prize list, every time we were asked, amongst our predictions we included a dark horse. The album was Week of Pines by Georgia Ruth. We were absolutely convinced the record would get a nomination as what is commonly known as ‘the token folk act’. This wasn’t based on a wave of outstanding critics reviews or record industry gossip, but quite simply because this evocatively beautiful album bewitched us the first time we heard it and several months on it was still plucking (quite literally) at our heart.

We use the word pluck very purposefully here, because Georgia Ruth (who first appeared on Breaking More Waves way back in May 2010) not only sings but plays the harp, and it’s her powerfully intricate playing of this instrument as much as her crystal clear voice that enchanted us.

Our certainty in a Mercury nomination was eventually proved incorrect, it seemed that this year there wasn’t much of a place for albums outside of the mainstream, but solace was found in the fact that Week of Pines received a nomination for the Welsh Music Prize. Then to our delight it won the thing. So someone agrees with us.

Week of Pines contains songs recorded in both English and Welsh language. The music varies from traditional folk such as welsh sea shanty Codi Angor to the lonely and haunting sounding Mapping to the motorik beat pop of the title track (one of the finest songs we’ve heard this year). Week of Pines is an album that is rich in songcraft, strong emotion and near perfect musicianship. Recorded and produced by David Wrench over six days in August 2012 in Snowdonia’s Bryn Derwen studios, it’s a record to which the word timeless really does apply; Week of Pines really could have been recorded in any decade from the 60’s to now. Thankfully it was released in 2013 and so deservedly sits at number 7 in our albums of the year list.

Georgia Ruth - Week Of Pines (Video)

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