‘Little Village’ from Banded Stilts - carefully constructed storytelling songs(November 01, 2013)
Banded Stilts clearly possess a deep-seated love of expressive narrative – that’s amply evident in their latest album ‘Little Village’. It's a carefully constructed collection of storytelling songs that take you through some highs and lows of personal introspective experience to broader explorations that encapsulate a wider community view. There’s palpable sincerity, rare enthusiasm and resigned acceptance that creates an understanding drawing scenes that are incredibly easy connect with. Quite simply, their brand of balladic, almost pop-edged folk holds you attentive.
The capture begins with the lyrically rich ‘The End of February’ complete with absorbing melody and its striking almost melancholy vocals, while ‘Leave A Light’takes your involvement a step further with lingering chorus and pulsating percussive rhythm. The sometimes disarming vocals are a key element of this music – overtones of sadness, reassurance, longing and reflection – listen to ‘Gloria’ or ‘Out On The Sea’ and you’ll quickly understand exactly what this album has to offer.
Banded Stilts are Brad Lannon (keyboard, mandolin, bass, accordion, vocals … and moustache) Don MacKay (violin, bass, keys, vocals) Marc Fagan (guitar, banjo, vocals) Reid Shepherd (percussion, vocals) and Steve Harley (Guitar, piano, vocals).
With ‘Little Village’ Banded Stilts deliver a rich performanceof beguiling melodies, poetic lyrics, sympathetically layered harmonies and permanently engaging vocals. And should you need further reassurance then listen to the moving emotion that pours through ‘Boy Of Stone’ – ‘Cos I’m a boy of stone, I’ve been living here so long, can hardly remember when, I last saw your little village’. You’ll find this album entrancing.
Reviewer: Tom Franks