‘Hidden People’ from Hidden PeopleKathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman(June 27, 2012)
I’ll avoid references to partners or siblings, and tell you the enigmatically titled, ‘Hidden People’ from Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman is a superbly performed and faultlessly produced folk album. There’s an alchemy between these two musicians that once seen live is hard to forget and I’m pleased to say that chemistry has translated perfectly onto CD.
Opening with ‘Huldra’ (a seductive forest creature of Norse mythology) you get multi-layered, haunting harmonies with ever so slightly creepy Scandinavian mumblings at the end. If this is your delight then there are more supernatural meanderings within the foreboding, cautionary words of 'Hang the Rowan' with its pulsing beat, and the equally dark and magical 'The White Hind'.
There’s classic guitar-driven, folk rock narrative on offer with ‘Oxford NY’ while the inspired composition ‘Money or Jewels’ is at times both modern and ancient – one of those songs that could come from today or hundreds of years ago. Were it not for its story of the despair of a striking miner and the impact on his family, you could say the same about 'The Ballad of Andy Jacobs'. It’s a worrisome song built around a soulful piano track with lyrics that record another story of sadness and tragedy lying behind the headlines.
'Hidden People' is released on the 9th July and available from Proper Music.com and Amazon UK.
Kathryn's vocals range wide and explore the full scope of her voice plus she plays piano, keyboards, flute and woodwind. Sean plays guitar, mandolin, bass guitar, bouzouki and also takes responsibility for the production. Playing alongside Kathryn and Sean are the usual suspects from constellations of national and international folk: Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon; Mark Chadwick, Dave Burland, Jim Moray, Stu Hanna, Caroline Herring, Greta Bondesson.
Reviewer: Dan Holland