Album: The Albion Christmas Band, A Sound in the Frosty Air (Rooksmere)


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The Independent Culture

This latest project from Fairport folk-rockers Ashley Hutchings and Simon Nicol has a somewhat sombre tone.

Only a minute into the album, for instance, and we're hearing about Christ being nailed to a cross in "Christ Was Born in Bethlehem", which seems a tad premature (though Kellie While's multi-tracked a cappella vocals are quite sublime).

There's a slightly dutiful tone to traditional fare like "The Sans Day Carol" and "Hereford Carol", but the contrast between the simplicity of pastoral devotion and the bogus finery of the rich in "Christmas Is Now Drawing Near at Hand" is well made; but the best tracks are both Hutchings originals, the reflections on time passing "A Distant Bell" and "Burn, Logs, Burn".

DOWNLOAD THIS: A Distant Bell; Burn, Logs, Burn; Christmas Is Now Drawing Near at Hand