On the cover of her debut album, Rosie Hood looks as if she’s stepped in from an Edwardian parlour; appropriate enough for a record that features songs collected from pre-WW1 Wiltshire by local poet Alfred Williams. Hood is likewise Wiltshire-born, and sings rural ballads such as Baker’s Oven and The Cruel Mother with easy authority, with subtle accompaniments that include a melodeon, strings, banjo and thrumming double bass. Hood’s own songs sound antique, but Adrift, Adrift is about Mediterranean migrant ships, while A Furlong of Flight is the tale of an 11th-century monk who tried to fly, delivered with a poet’s touch. A classy arrival.
Rosie Hood: The Beautiful & the Actual review – rural ballads and poetic class
Neil Spencer is a writer and an astrologer for The Observer