There’s too much new music released to take it all in, so it makes sense to check out what admired artists and bloggers refer to as highlights, to reduce the chance of missing something essential. At Scene Point Blank, they asked a few dozen artists and record labels what their favorite albums were from last year. In the list of punk/folk hero Frank Turner, I discovered Connectivity, the most recent LP by UK singer-songwriter Grace Petrie, which I must have overlooked when it came out in October. There is some resemblance to Turner’s work (I even went looking for the credits to see if he had any involvement with the album, but that’s not the case: it was produced by Matt De Burgh Daly (Petrie and Turner toured together, and Turner has covered one of Petrie’s songs so they know each other’s work well)), which may explain his choice. Actually, that doesn’t matter, because in themselves these 12 new tracks are strong, with appealing stories, sung and played convincingly. These are powerful folk songs with a punk feel and poetic lyrics. If you can captivate without musical accompaniment as Petrie does for almost 4 minutes in Galway, you deserve as much appreciation as Ed Sheeran and Steve Earle.
“I’ve played rooms of hundreds // That have never felt so loud // Because it’s not the size of the crowd that’s in the gig // But the gig that’s in the crowd // And tonight’s, they are heroic // Their response enough to seem // Like they could fill a football stadium // When they’re a few short for a team”
Personnel: Grace Petrie (guitar, vocals, harmonica), Ben Moss (fiddle, melodeon, concertina, banjo, mandolin, vocals), Caitlin Field (drums, vocals), Jasmine Kennedy (vocals), Matt De Burgh Daly (piano, bass guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel, glockenspiel), Dom Potts (double bass), and Steve Pretty (brass on Great Central Way).
Connectivity is out digitally, on CD and vinyl double LP through The Robot Needs Home Collective.