Newcastle-based Bridie Jackson And The Arbour need no introduction to regulars here on Fresh On The Net having become favourites of ours over the past couple of years. This week marks the release of their new 10-track album New Skin. This is the followup to their debut full-length release Bitter Lullabies in 2012, the launch party to which was sold out at The Sage Gateshead.
Collectively the tracks on New Skin provide an intimacy similar to that of a film or the musings of ones mind. The blend of vocal harmonies and space between the strings allow the music to drift like smoke, dancing, drawing us in on a physical and emotional level. This music feels like ancient folklore, promising to bring new meaning to each listen.
Although much more rooted with folk music, there’s a feel to New Skin that is very reminiscent of Yann Tiersen. Its possibly to do with the brooding momentum of the guitar, cello and fiddle and the cinematic feel to this collection of music.
The tracks Prolong and Scarecrow have both been uploaded to Fresh On The Net in recent weeks and both unsurprisingly have caught the interest and love of our listeners. It’s the sort of music that stops you in your tracks, that provides meaning to the deepest feeling that you’d otherwise struggle to find. These are also the two standout tracks for me on the album – the latter (Scarecrow) having been written by another friend of Fresh On The Net – Debt Records founder Louis Barabbas. Bridie Jackson And The Arbour joined Debt Records in 2012 where their debut release was a double A-side of Scarecrow with All You Love Is All You Are.
I’ve played this album countless times driving alone in my car – and also through a large speaker sitting by my log fire in a stone cottage on a windy Northumberland hill. Prolong hasn’t failed to make me well up each time I’ve listened; it speaks to the heart, and of loss. I strongly recommend that folks listen to this album alone – and also at different times of the day. Its an incredibly beautiful and emotional work.
New Skin was recorded at Newcastle’s Blast Studios and produced by legendary Newcastle musician and producer Mick Ross. Released yesterday, it’s available now on CD or as an immediate download from shop.bridieandthearbour.com.