Southern Tenant Folk Union's new album is a bold concept piece in which their amalgam of Scottish folk and American bluegrass is employed in the vivid depiction of a dystopian, post-technological future.
It's a world in which small communities use barbed wire fences and lookout posts to protect their meagre crops from bands of raiders. The old bothy ballad "South Ythsie" offers a compelling parallel, with murder and slavery commonplace and human warmth a brief flicker, swiftly snuffed out. The flinty Scots brogue delivering the songs lends an authentic flavour and the blend of banjo, mandolin, guitar and fiddle is denuded of much of its usual jaunty and jovial tone, the better to convey the stark realities of this life.
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