‘Single Flame’ by Lucy Ward - folk of its time forged from its heritage(June 20, 2013)
With ‘Single Flame’ Lucy Ward, another of Derby’s singing daughters (and you can hear that in her voice) allows her brand of folk music to develop and grow into ‘somewhere new’. Yet still Lucy’s influence remains rooted in an enduring folk tradition. There’s no doubt this album is folk of its time but also forged on multiple links to its heritage.
Single Flame’ opens with the deeply moody ‘I Cannot Say, I Will Not Speak’ as it takes its influence from another time reflecting on what might have been if things were different today. In a similar lyrical vein ‘Honey’ exposes yet more of Lucy’s observant vocals laid across the most soothing of guitar tracks, while ‘The Last Pirouette’ muses through a powerful perception of an apocalypse – actually based on a poem written by Lucy’s father in 1983 – a darkly ominous song, and by contrast the delicate approach of ‘Velvet Sky’ entrances with its gentle beauty.
‘The Consequence’ is harrowing with its mournful vocals laying out an uncompromising denouncement of domestic violence with the misery and legacy of pain it creates. And while a dark mood pervades, Lucy delivers a singularly searing version of ‘Lord I Don’t Want To Die In The Storm’ and then comes the power of ‘For The Dead Men’. With its straight-to-the-heart lyric it pulls no punches and stands unafraid to deal with the issues that still infect our society - hence my remarks about music with strong links to its heritage; a legacy further amplified by a gutsy slice of folk tradition in ‘Marching Through The Green Grass’.
Reviewer: Dan Holland