Karine Polwart - This Earthly Spell (4 stars)

Karine Polwart

(Hegri Music)


Karine Polwart is already established as Scotland’s premier purveyor of progressive folk, and this consummate and lush album consolidates that position. A flip side to last year’s traditional collection Fairest Floo’er, this album of crafted songwriting combines her intelligent lyrical style with indie-flecked Scottish folk of real depth and variety. One blip aside (the oddly whimsical swing of ‘The News’) this is stirring stuff, from the tense atmospheric rock of ‘Painted it White’ to the ambitious and spellbinding epic drone of closer ‘Tongue That Cannot Lie’. Continually pushing the boundaries of what folk music can do, Polwart seems unstoppable at the moment.

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