Review: Zoë Bestel

Galloway-based singer-songwriter Zoë Bestel brought her unique and captivating brand of nu-folk to Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms on 4th May, as one of two special solo concerts to launch her eagerly-awaited second album, Transience. There was a real buzz in this intimate space, as Zoë Bestel took to the stage and informed us that she would be playing all of the songs on the new album in sequence. This required some switching between tenor and baritone ukuleles between songs, while Bestel kept us entertained with her charming and engaging chat and banter.

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Review: Siobhan Wilson

The elegant and stylish Reid Concert Hall at the University of Edinburgh provided a splendid setting for a very special concert on 28th April, when Siobhan Wilson played the penultimate date of her UK Spring tour. She was accompanied by her good friend Matt Rawlings on guitar and the sumptuous strings of special guests, The Demi Octet. This tour was an opportunity for Siobhan Wilson to celebrate the resounding success of her most recent album, There Are No Saints (which a number of music journalists included in their lists of 2017’s best albums) and to showcase a couple of new songs, before starting work on her next album.

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Review: Modern Studies – Welcome Strangers

It was never going to be easy for the Glasgow-based chamber-pop band Modern Studies to follow their mesmerising debut album, 2016’s Swell To Great. However, with their new album, Welcome Strangers, the band has delivered a stunning set of beautifully-crafted songs, which reflect the considerable individual and collective talents, versatility and alchemy of this unique group of musicians. The delightfully creaking Victorian harmonium which was central to the sound on the first album takes a back seat here, as the song arrangements become ever more intricate, expansive and absorbing, featuring exhilarating flourishes of strings and brass and other subtle splashes of musical colour. Although remaining deliciously unconventional in structure, the new songs are perhaps more fully-formed than before, revealing more textures and layers with repeated plays.

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Review: Hannah Read – Way Out I’ll Wander

Hannah Read is an Edinburgh-born singer, songwriter and fiddler, now resident in Brooklyn, New York, who is much in demand as a collaborator on both sides of the Atlantic. She will be known to some as a major contributor to the stellar group of British folk musicians who produced the stunning Songs Of Separation, which won Album Of The Year at the BBC Radio Folk Awards last year.

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