Fold: The Prize
Yorkshire’s Fold are an intoxicating musical blend of funk, jazz, soul, and passionate voices for social change, with something of metal music’s bass driven heaviness and sense of disturbing the present equilibrium. The new single The Prize epitomises this and more.
Fold consists of Seth Mowshowitz (the band’s founder, writer, and keyboard player) Kane Rattray (drums), Ben Walsh (bass) and Sam Hutchison (guitar) along with many other musical and voice collaborators. Their admirable musical manifesto simply says ‘a band advancing equality & unity through musical dialogue’.
The new single The Prize, is taken from the bands forthcoming 3rd album: Aphelion; a tribute to the visionary writer Lorraine Hansberry. The recording of the album was interrupted by Covid 19, though not before the band had laid down and finalised two fantastic tracks, Concrete Things and The Prize, recorded with brass and strings courtesy of Leeds based Emma Johnson’s stunning horn section and violinist Kieran O’Malley, and featuring the spoken voice and words of Lorraine Hansberry.
Opening with gentle lilting guitar and horns, The Prize settles into a hypnotic funk groove, with the vocals beguilingly breathing:
“Open your eyes, open your eyes, open…open …open”, which perfectly aligns with the chorus “Keep your eyes on the prize” echoing as the band have described, a phrase used during the Civil Rights Movement. The whole spirit and vibe of the song speaks to the need to see what is around us, and exercise empathy and critical understanding, to move forward to a new gentler and socially just age.
Lorraine Hansberry’s spoken voice is a compelling thread running through this wonderful uplifting, warm and danceable music, and in particular her iteration of ‘concrete things change the universe’, inspiring us to the empathic listening and questioning that can change everything.
The instrumental version of the song that accompanies the single, really brings out some very special playing, with violinist Kieran O’Malley playing some spine tingling phrases that remind of the great electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty; and Emma Johnson’s horn section weaving some beautiful and atmospheric ensemble playing throughout the song. The funk rhythms are utterly irresistible and without doubt will have you dancing around your front room or kitchen.
Add to that a really heavy bass underpinning, that actually wouldn’t be out of place in a doom metal band, and this is music for the head and heart. The Prize is a song to lift and inspire us, and to help us look to the future with belief and optimism. Fold are a band making music we can take to our hearts, in these strange days we are living through
You can find Fold on:
All words by Gareth Allen, you can find Gareth’s author profile here.