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Boomkat Product Review:
With a voice somewhere between J Mascis and that bloke from the Crash Test Dummies, Lawrence Becko's creaking baritone is sure to polarise opinion, but his songs are uncontrovertibly lovely. This debut album for Static Caravan gives a great example of where the already flagging new wave of UK folk artists should be heading next - across eleven tracks of acoustic post-rock Shady Bard conjure songs ranging from the quiet and intimate ('Summer Cam When We Were Falling Out') to the expansive, if not downright epic ('From The Ground Up'). There's something very English and wintry about these compositions, the frost-dappled piano and stark, bare strings of 'These Quiet Times' prove to be particularly evocative, whilst the stillness of 'The Memory Tree's chiming casiotone and gently droning cello does a fine job of concocting a slow-burning sense of grandeur. Shady Bard must qualify as one of the least electronic sounding acts in Static Caravan's history, but based on the calibre of "From The Ground Up" they stand every chance of achieving the same sort of breakaway success that Tunng found with the label. Recommended.