Album: Thistletown

Rosemarie (Big Bertha)
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The Independent Culture

Cornish nu-folk quintet Thistletown have the requisite flowing locks and flowing robes that once marked out the likes of Steeleye Span and The Incredible String Band. As if that weren't indication enough of their approach, their press release reports that they live on a boat and grow their own vegetables – though one doubts that a boat would provide room for much of a crop, especially with all five of them aboard.

The ISB are a clear influence, with guitars and mandolins augmented by such exotica as harmonium, saz, clarinet and cittern, while the high-register vocals of Tiffany Bryant and Lydia Tweddell recall The Sallyangie, the folk duo formed by the young Mike Oldfield and his sister Sally.

There's an undeniable charm to tracks such as "Under the Trees" and "Rosemarie", although the high, thin singing renders the lyrics difficult to discern; but there's plentiful appeal to the arrangements, from the droning cittern, trumpet and accordion of "Gloworm" to the delicate mandolin, glockenspiel, guitar and clarinet in "Dance With the Sea".

Download this: 'Rosemarie', 'Dance With the Sea', 'The Sun Is Coming Up'

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