From the moment I first heard about Flit, a new project from Martin Green the accordionist and electronic experimenter with folk trio Lau, I was immediately intrigued. For not only was the subject material, that of social migration, something a little bit different from the norm, but the list of collaborators on the record included a number of people that at one point or other in my life have created music that has moved me in some way.
These names include Adrian Utley of Portishead, a band that created two of my favourite studio albums of all time, as well as a fantastic live album and were responsible for one of my most memorable performances at Glastonbury Festival (which you can read about here). There’s also Becky Unthank, from folk sisters The Unthanks, whose records have cropped up regularly on my end of year lists including one at the very top (see here). Then there’s sometimes sordid Scottish wordsmith Aidan Moffat from Arab Strap, who besides creating The First Big Weekend (one of my favourite singles of 1996) and the rather excellent Philophobia LP) also once received a review by the NME of a gig at Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms which made reference to some tribal style dancing by a small section of the audience. I was one of those dancers. Add in the likes of Karine Polwart, Anaïs Mitchell and Mogwai’s Dominic Aitchison and you have a very interesting project.
With Green and Flit going on the road this week with their multi-media show (sadly I can’t make my local date in Brighton) it seems a good time to feature the song The Suitcase from the record. Starting with a spoken word piece by Aidan Moffat the track then moves into a darkly claustrophobic electronic soundtrack with Becky’s voice bringing a traditional purity and human beauty and Dominic Aitchison providing the lower sounds. It’s one of my favourite pieces on the album, which features songs that range from tragically sad to heart-warming.
'The Suitcase' from Martin Green's Flit ft. Becky Unthank and Adam Holmes from Lepus Productions on Vimeo.