[sic] Magazine

Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou – La Ferme De Fontenaille

Trevor and Hannah look rather more austere here than on the cover of the eponymous debut album from 2010 and this album has a slightly more intimate feel. An album on Heavenly last year seems to have entirely passed under my radar (blame the pluggers) but even without hearing it I’d say LFDF was stripped back for maximum ‘feel’. On the debut cover they look like lovers from a French realist film, here more George Orwell on the Road To Wigan Pier austerity.

Continuing their exploration of Britain and Britishness by focusing on the small and sometimes mundane they infuse it with emotion and personal meaning. Songs can be far reaching too, ‘A Proud Surrender’ seems to allude to the Falkland war and more generally to the tensions of conflict. ‘Arica Road’ features the duo vocals to excellent affect with a lovely guitar motif that seeps nostalgia and aches for an escape to an idealised past. ‘Two Strangers’ is positively jaunty in comparison – the escape in the dark of a picture house can give a breath of freedom. The song seems to be a middle-age meditation that belies the youth of Trevor and Hannah-Lou. Appropriate for an album recorded on a Tascam cassette tape 4 track (common in the earlier 80s as a home recording boon, pre digital). The resulting sound is intimate and perfect for the simple /guitar/hand percussion instrumentation.

The ghost of Dylan surfaces (as it did on the first album) on ‘Grand Tales In Tired Covers’, though the harmonica this time has evolved a rather more sympathetic tone, even sounding a little like Larry Adler as it fades. What would be the second side is a particularly strong song sequence, starting with the resigned, failed lover of ‘For A Minute There’, slipping into the darker lament ’Never More Than A Minute From The Grave’. This warning to make the most of NOW has the authentic folk ‘voice’ and should be a future standard. The album is completed by ‘The Day The Rebel In Me Dies’. Every bit punk in word, if certainly not in deed, this excellent Spanish tinged number brings the collection to a satisfying and defiant conclusion.

TM are playing with Tom McRae from late till mid November and then head out to tour working men’s clubs in December. If you’re not sure if Folk is for you dip a toe in With the 4 tracks available as free download Proud Surrender EP via this link:

Free EP