What does it sound like?:
“Piano-driven folk pop from Cambridgeshire” say the tagline, and it is hard to disagree.
I’ve followed the musical career of Ellie Walker for nearly 20 years, from painfully shy undergraduate hiding behind a fringe and a keyboard, her half-whispered vocals a nightmare for live sound engineers; through the rotating cast of indie-pop scenesters Model Village; to multi-instrumentalist and occasional singer with Cambridgeshire’s answer to Lambchop, now approaching their third decade, superb sprawling ensemble The Pony Collaboration.
As Ellie approaches early middle-age, with a family of her own, she has blossomed, the creative spark rekindled and she’s co-opted a couple of moonlighting Ponies to be her backing band. She’s married to one of them, so I’m sure that helped pull some strings.
As it says on the tin, the album is chock full of piano-driven folk-pop nuggets. Ellie’s vocals have a clear, high-register and her words come tumbling out, often over jittery rhythms – perhaps, after years in the creative furrows, she has a lot she wants to say.
Lyrically there are references to self-belief, the sanctity of home, the benefits of the great outdoors, and the quiet ones – for whom it will all come good in the end. There’s some lovely song-serving guitar work from husband Michael, flute, violins, tuneful bass, sympathetic drumming, all exellently recorded in deepest rural Norfolk.
Nine filler-free tracks, and all over in a listener-friendly 28 and a half minutes.
There’s an album lauch at the Blue Moon in Cambridge on November 18th, featuring both Model Village and The Pony Collaboration in support.
What does it all *mean*?
You should always watch the quiet ones.
Goes well with…
A Sunday morning, a nice cup of tea and a view of nature through a bay window.
Friday 20th October 2023
Might suit people who like…
Classic singer-songwriters (you know the ones), upbeat indie-pop