EP Review : Katherine Priddy – Wolf

Katherine Priddy - Wolf
A Wolf in EPs clothing

Singer-Songwriter Katherine Priddy has already had an amount of success with her self recorded and self-produced “Old Tree Sessions” series of CDs.  Now she releases a studio recording… Wolf is an EP of 4 original tracks, departing from the Old Tree Session cover tracks.  A familiar presence at Moseley Folk Festival and local folk gigs in Birmingham, this is an eagerly awaited release.  Even if it doesn’t have the trademark homemade wax seal of the earlier records!

And opener Wolf couldn’t a bigger departure from her previous low-fi sound with soaring strings, big choruses and an epic, but probably doomed love affair…

I’m not sure, but Ring o’ Roses might just be the best song I’ve ever heard about the black death.  It’s certainly rooted in the disturbing children’s nursery rhyme.  While that rhyme may not actually be as deadly as its legend, the protagonists of this song certainly do not fair well.

With its lazy summery sound, and allusions to a mythical English landscape, Fragile reminds me of a  childhood summer, and a rose-tinted past. “Remember when forever tasted fresh upon our tongues” Priddy recalls.  It’s my album highlight, with the nostalgic feel, the theme of aging and a lifetime passing in a single song.

The Old Tree opens like a lament – but then the lost love is found!  But then maybe lost again.  It could be a warning message to act quickly, or just being thankful that even if it was late, you found your place in the sun.

There’s a folk horror undercurrent permeating the darker points of the EP – reminiscent of the recent Shirley Collins album.  But then there’s also light peaking through, and nods to the greats like Nick Drake and Donovan.  I’d say the EP is a more than a tribute to past masters though.  The tracks feel like you’ve been humming them for years, Priddy’s voice adding light to the darker moments, but never making the lighter moments twee.  It’s an essential record for late summer, the harvest is being brought in around you, and you are preparing for long nights, while clinging onto the sunshine you have.  Highly recommended.

Order it here

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