By Paul Marshall
More often than not, folk records come with a seasonal mood in mind, though in the case of Paul Marshall and his debut album 'Vultures' we have a record which seems to encapsulate all four seasons - equally as fitting for a frosty February morning as it is for a sun-drenched afternoon in July.
Essentially made up of wistful and enchanting guitar arrangements which are paired with a soothing though equally emotionally powerful vocal style, Paul Marshall's debut record is a more than adequate journey into contemporary folk.
With standout songs such as the haunting 'Knives In My Spine', where Paul's high vocals sit against mightily ethereal backing vocals from fellow Leeds folk star Fran Rodgers, and the Pink Moon-esque guitar arrangement in 'Leave' it's easy to see why the Leeds based singer-songwriter has drawn comparisons with the late Nick Drake, though this debut record isn't as black and white as I might have you believe, for instance, in the impressive 'Sea Full Of Trains' Paul exercises his diversity with a vocal style that is more akin to that of talented singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. Ultimately, Vultures highpoint arrives in the wonderfully melodic and emotional closer 'Alvsbyn' with cello adding presence to the entire dreamy and teary-eyed affair.
Though Paul Marshall never really breaks any new ground, Vultures should stand up with the strongest folk records released this year. The perfectionist-like execution and heart-wrenching qualities this excellent multi-seasonal debut possesses are very rarely matched elsewhere. Superb.
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Requested personally by Swedish post-rock wonders 'Jeniferever' to be thier tour support, expect lush finger picked melodies ghosting underneath fragile vocal lines that place him somewhere between Nick Drake, Iron and Wine and Red House Painters.
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