Rachel Newton specialises in creating atmospheric new settings for songs that are for the most part sad, spooky or unsettling. Her last solo album, Changeling, was a concept work based around folk tales, but this set is held together by mood rather than narrative. There are traditional American songs from the Ozark mountains, including the brooding title track and the intriguing Poor Lost Baby, along with Scottish Gaelic songs and a suitably haunting treatment of The Bloody Gardener, a finely told story of treachery, murder and the supernatural. Her cool, no-nonsense vocals are backed by her own harp and piano, providing melody, rhythm and bass lines, and she’s helped by the subtle addition of fiddle, percussion and brass. Newton may be best known for her work with the Furrow Collective, the Shee and the Emily Portman Trio, but she’s an increasingly compelling solo performer.
Rachel Newton: Here’s My Heart Come Take It review – brooding new settings for folk traditionals
Robin Denselow is a journalist and broadcaster who specialises in music and politics. He is the author of When The Music's Over, a history of political pop