The artPACKT Collective – Acoustic (artPACKT)
London based Scottish trio, The artPACKT Collective, release their first collaborative album. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
The artPACKT Collective is three singer songwriters who have been making individual waves in the music scene for quite some time. Now Rosie Bans, Anna MacDonald and Mike Nesbit have joined forces to record a crowdfundedalbum to be taken out on tour.
Comprising of cover versions, traditional songs and original material, the 12 tracks on Acoustic represent the folk/blues styles that have been making critics sit up and listen. From a version of Wild Mountain Thyme, Francis McPeake’s song based on the poem The Braes Of Balquhither which opens the album, to cover versions of Fairport Convention (Matty Groves) the album transcends beautiful songs made stunning.
Bans’ piano-led contributions Identity and Westbound Ghosts (from last year brilliant Be Bold EP) are exciting jazz funk affairs sexually charged into a 2015 female version of Hue And Cry which ooze life and sentiment. Doin’ It For The Love perhaps sums up the whole idea behind the album – make an album, sell it on tour and use the profits to continue touring. It’s a simple and self-perpetuating idea.
The country bluegrass style of Nesbit is comforting and warm whilst maintaining a strong masculine element to marry up to his female partners. Paint, El Frida and Travelling Blues unfold wondrous tales of simple humanity and wanting through an often American sounding vocal. His guitar playing is subtle and effectual.
If Bans is at one end of the vocal scale then MacDonald is at the other. Almost angelic, she sweeps and glides with tones that melt your heart and leave you exhausted throughout. Fire Beach is gorgeous and the adaption of Matty Groves loses all instruments bar her guitar. The folk ballad that details an adulterous rendezvous is compelling to say the least.
The title track and album closer from Anna’s You Held Out Your Hand EP is again beautiful. Her voice sweeps through a Gaelic folk number to leave you once more quite breathless.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.