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50 albums: 2009 - Hyperboreans by Jackie Oates

I've long had a soft spot for English folk music, although it was generally more the rock side of English folk, so it was Steeleye Span (initially) and then Fairport Convention and Pentangle. More recently it has been slightly less rock (rather than more trad) The Unthanks (although capable of rock), June Tabor and Jackie Oates.

Now, I believe the significant thing about all the acts I've mentioned are that they either exclusively or predominantly (or predominantly when they were good in the case of Fairport) make use of a female voice. So when I say I love English folk music, I think I really mean that I love English folk music when it's sung by a woman. When men sing folk it tends towards the folk-cliche, which ultimately ends up at the unbearable Bellowhead. Of course there are plenty of English folk singers I love who aren't women but they don't get played nearly as often.

I bought Jackie Oates' Saturnine when it came out in 2011, and it's a beautiful album. FOr some reason, however I never went back to her previous album Hyperboreans until right now. And that was clearly a mistake, because on first listen it may even be more beautiful.

The album came out on One Little Indian, home of The Sugarcubes and features a beautiful cover of their hit Birthday. Here she is with her band singing in a shed:

The album versions better, but lovely as it is, it doesn't really come close to this

or this

Everything's swirling / last build: 2024-04-03 11:39