Friday, 23 August 2013

Discovery: Lisa Knapp - Hidden Seam

Modern day folk musicians have taken the historic folk genre and twisted it for younger audiences, for a new audience. Joanna Newsom's harp introductions and classical melodies have changed the face of indie folk. There's an age of experimental folk music on the horizon. Bjork has already dabbled in the work of folk, art rock and beyond with her album MedĂșlla. More and more artists are turning to avant-garde for their creative output. We call it baroque pop these days, but the days of neofolk are not over, well, not when Lisa Knapp is emerging as a bright talent in a genre of generics. Progressive folk has been pushed aside by indie folk, but my heart stays true to the 60s / 70s prog-folk artists (more commonly known as folk baroque), led by Martin Carthy, who I had the pleasure of seeing live a few weeks ago - Knapp intends to bring it back.

"Hidden Seam" is the self-titled track taken from Knapp's upcoming second album. Where her debut album Wild And Undaunted sounds like Anthems In Eden by Dolly & Shirley Collins, her new material takes an electronic direction. "Hidden Seam" progresses from its simple loop to the spectacular bouncy string accompaniment. Knapp never loses ground in her vocal, sounding fresh, mature, in-tune - think Kate Bush on 50 Words For Snow. The drums enter, it all starts to make sense, then the electronics enter. Hard hitting reverberated drum beats surface, with layered Knapp vocals, cut-up and made transparent to cramp the recording. The Left speaker pounds with high pitched vocal shrieks and dominating string heart beats, the right speaker drives through to the end with loud percussion and choral vocal pieces. It's two tracks in one, and the background build-up holds the two together. Expect more like this on Knapp's sophomore album.

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