Review Archive

Debut album from The Jellyman's Daughter - hooked, totally captivated, ensconced in its sound

(January 05, 2015)

There are certain times that you find yourself truly surprised. Times when the unexpected takes you and The Jellymans Daughterholds you. Those times of realisation when the new and the different combine to produce something unique. For example, when you listen to an album for the first time and find that you’re hooked, totally captivated, ensconced in a sound that takes you to astonishing places. That’s the debut album from Edinburgh acoustic duo The Jellyman's Daughter – aka Emily Kelly and Graham Coe. The combination of hugely evocative, moody cello conjoined with guitar plus piercingly beautiful vocals and harmonies, makes this music startlingly original and deeply intense. The influence of bluegrass, a flavour of jazz, touches of classical overlaying an accomplished folk-acoustic mix are all evident, as is the dexterity of musicianship and the presence of feeling in the vocals.

 There’s a freedom of expression between instruments and voices that makes this a mesmerising collection of songs, from the opening interplay of voices on ‘Blue Lullaby’ through the percussive passion of ‘The One You’re Leaving’ to the wistful echoing vocal of ‘Come Back To Me’ there’s a magic that flows throughout. It’s a captivation driven by Coe’s resonant cello and Kelly’s singularly delicious voice. ‘All That’s Been’ reveals the sadness of ‘a battered heart’ and demonstrates the musical bond between this duo to its fullest extent, then there’s a subtle blend to ‘Slow Burn’ that incorporates precise fiddle and mandolin touches. And should you decide to include a Lennon and McCartney cover then ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ shows how it should be done – far more than covering they add, extend and enhance with their distinctive style.

This is a debut album that delivers all that’s asked for and much more.

The Jellyman's Daughter are Emily Kelly (vocals, guitar) and Graham Coe (vocals, cello) joining them on selected tracks on the album are Jenny Hill (double bass) Gerry Kelly (banjo) Cera Impala (banjo, vocal) Dirk Ronneburg (fiddle) Pete Coutts (mandolin) and Natalie Brown (fiddle).

You can find them and the album here: thejellymansdaughter.com

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