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Lucy Ward - I Dreamt I Was a Bird (Betty Beetroot Records)

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The title of Lucy Ward's third album release is taken from the brooding Daniel and the Mermaid, a song very much imbued with the raw emotive qualities this young singer-songwriter has become noted for. Emotion permeates the entire album, together with a deliberate pursuit of sonic atmosphere, which is helped along in no small measure by the musicians Lucy has surrounded herself with, such as Anna Esslemont on violin and Stu Hanna on, well just about everything else really. Even the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band once again offer their services to British folk music, adding weight to the already weighty Lion, a song originally commissioned by Billy Bragg for his 14-18NOW project. Produced by Stu Hanna and encased in another over-the-top photographic creation by Elly Lucas, the album is the first to be released on Betty Beetroot, Lucy's own fiercely independent label. There's all the familiar territory covered, politics, protest, pathos, a token from the tradition (Lord Randall) all surrounded by a bunch of well-crafted self-penned songs from the heart. Stu Hanna's production is clean, uncluttered and crisp and although her collaborators step up to the mark and deliver, it's really Lucy's show once again.  

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky

Show Number: 396
Airplay Date: 07.10.15
Track Played: Ode to Whittaker Brown
Release Date: 02.10.15
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