Nancy Elizabeth – Battle and Victory

Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 17:15 | Category : Uncategorized
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A couple of months back, I wrote about Nancy Elizabeth, a young singer-songwriter from Wigan whose single Hey Son had particularly captivated me. “If this is a taster for her new album Battle and Victory, it will be a magnificent thing indeed.” I said.

Well, the album is now with us, actually has been for a month or so, and I’m just getting round to writing about it. Even if Battle and Victory isn’t quite the magnificent thing I hoped for based on the quality of Hey Son and its b-side Live By the Sea, it’s still very lovely. There’s plenty understated but perfectly judged songs, played out on such exotic instruments as Celtic harp, Thai khim, Indian harmonium, Appalachian dulcimer and bouzouki – as well as ordinary ones like the guitar and cello.

In the current climate where any young whimsical singer with an acoustic guitar can be labelled ‘folk’, Nancy Elizabeth is certainly more folk than most, and despite the array of international instruments, her songs seem to draw most strongly from the English folk tradition. That’s not to say they don’t have contemporary resonance either, and comparisons can be made with the likes of Marissa Nadler, Nina Nastasia and maybe Alela Diane. By the time you get to the end of the album on the gorgeous title track, you’ll be aware that you’ve heard something that’s a little bit timeless.

Download: Nancy Elizabeth – Battle and Victory
Download: Nancy Elizabeth – How Can I Stop?

Buy Battle and Victory from Rough Trade or download from emusic.

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