The Left Outsides – The Shape Of Things To Come (Dawn Bird Records)

Think of English Psych Folk and Mellow Candle, Comus, Ken Saul and of course, Fairport Convention instantly spring to mind. All of which are cornerstones and are rightly revered. What ‘The Left Outsides’ have done is doff their caps to the past but kept their sound very contemporary. ‘The Shape Of Things To Come’ is a more complex album than you may give it credit for on first listen. Gentle ballads paint pictures of a summer days but as the album unfolds, there comes with it a sense of foreboding. As each song develops it reveals an elaborate web of musical flourishes that lift it above their often over twee contemporaries.

One thing for certain, Mark Nicholas and Alison Cotton, a husband and wife duo that share vocal duties, certainly understand how to create a textured sound with the more upbeat tracks like ‘Out Of Time’, sitting perfectly next to the more dreamy: ‘You Told Your Secrets To The Sea’. Those of you who remember their previous band the much missed, ‘The Eighteenth Day Of May’, will hear some similarities. What they have done is took the work of the aforementioned band and ran with it adding some Syd, and dash of Lewis Carol along the way.

Sunday morning hangover? I recommend black coffee, painkillers and ‘The Left Outsides’ to ease you into the day ahead.

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