Album: Sam Lee, Ground of Its Own (The Nest Collective)

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The Independent Culture

The first folk singer to teach at the Royal College Of Music, Sam Lee draws on material from Gypsy and traveller communities for this debut album, a slim portfolio of lust, betrayal and survival couched in allegory.

Lee's voice, oddly blithe and light for a baritone, captures the mythic charm of these songs, but it's his arrangements, at once vivid yet shrouded, which set Ground of Its Own apart. The banjo-driven "Ballad of George Collins" whisks along urgently, and the hare legend of "On Yonder Hill" occupies an enchantment of resonant metal drums and breathy trumpet.

Download:The Ballad Of George Collins; On Yonder Hill; Northlands