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Inge Thomson is from Fair Isle–a small, remote island halfway between Shetland and Orkney–and its sense of wildness and isolation is seemingly the defining influence on Thomson’s highly individual and occasionally eccentric approach as a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Perhaps best-known previously for her accordion work with the Karine Polwart Band, Thomson’s intimately innovative style has also evolved via disparate spells with folk-pop group Drop the Box, the rampaging band Harem Scarem and an intriguing collaboration with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, but this debut solo album still sounds totally off the wall, fitting no conventional criteria of genre. Inge wrote, recorded and produced the bulk of the album and is joined here by the angelic voice of Heidi Talbot, the edgy guitars of Brighton based Tom Cook and a cameo appearance of Martin Green of award winning diddle-superstars Lau. Disquieting hymn-like backdrops and evocative seascapes reflect the overriding spirit but there’s mischief and fun, too, both in Thomson’s warmly impudent accordion and the subtle minimalism of the arrangements. A plinking banjo suddenly pops up in “Cycle”, an infectious clippety-clop rhythm invades John and there’s a telling duet with Rory Campbell on the gorgeous love song “How Far?”.
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