Pubblicato il Dicembre 28th, 2017 | by DDG


The Cornshed Sisters – Honey & Tar (2017)

1. The Message
2. Cuddling
3. Jobs For The Boys
4. We Have Said This Is Impossible
5. Waiting For Audreya
6. Black and White
7. Honey And Tar
8. Running
9. Show Me
10. Sunday Best / Small Spaces
11. A&E
12. Holding On
13. Variety

Etichetta Memphis Industries

Durata 43’ 38’’


Jennie Brewis (Guitar, Ukulele, Vocals) ● Liz Corney (Piano, String Arrangements, Synthesizer, Vocals) ● Marie Nixon (Guitar, Ukulele, Vocals) ● Cath Stephens (Bass, Guitar, Piano, Vocals) ● Peter Brewis (Bass, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Producer, String Arrangements)

2017 saw a wave of new records for Memphis Industries – after Dutch Uncles, also Weaves, Go! Team and Warm Digits released new albums, whilst the label reference band, Field Music, just launched the single from the forthcoming OPEN HERE, out in February 2018.

HONEY & TAR, the second album of the Cornshed Sisters, is probably the less “noisy” of the pack – but it is indeed a very good pop record, with the four songwriters evolving from the folky – a cappella songs of their 2012 debut, TELL TALES, to a larger and modern palette of pop colours, always including harmony vocals acoustic and electronic instruments, often influenced by the relatives/friends from Field Music (Peter Brewis produced the record) and related bands (Slug, The Week That Was, School of Language).

Jennie Brewis (Peter’s wife), Cath Stephens, Liz Corney (Field Music keyboard player and backing vocalist) and Marie Nixon keep in weaving together pop, folk, ballad and protest music, as for the Memphis Industries press release: but the first single, The Message, clearly shows that they are now someway in the middle between their traditional roots and the modern pop research of the Brewis family.

The tracklist – equally divided between the four songwriters (It wasn’t rigorously planned – more serendipitous. We all write quite a lot and we love arranging and playing each other’s songs luckily!) – includes more songs about love, motherhood, fake happiness, friendship, family, feminism and the increasing complexities of life as you get older but no wiser, proposed through this new style (A&E, Running, Black & White), mixed with reflective moments (Sunday Best / Small Spaces), and even funny vaudeville memories (Variety, Jobs for the Boys).

The intense and hooky – sensitivity & humour!The Message and Show Me (both from Liz), and the atmospheric Honey & Tar (from Jennie), together with the understatement feeling coming from the funny promo of The Message (a quite happy pop song about a sad moment – when someone is going to dump you and you don’t want to be the one to have to start the conversation because it’s not you who wants to break up, but they do so they should be the one to say it), may give the idea of the kind of pop music you will find in this record.

You came back after 5 years – and the differences between the 2012 folk vocal group and the 2017 modern pop combo is very clear… do you want to speak about this evolution?
5 years is a long time and our lives really changed and evolved over that period. We’ve variously performed in live film scores, written and performed in other bands, opened arts centres, moved house a million times , had a couple of kids and spent a lot of time performing together and talking about the kinds of music we really love and want to make. The new album reflects all of this change and development. We still love folk, vocal-led music but we really wanted to experiment with different types of instrumentation and push ourselves further. We’re hoping to tour more next year, ideally going further afield that the UK. We’re working on some commissions to write music to commemorate major events in our home town of Sunderland and we’ll be working with people where ever we find them to help them find their own love for music through choirs, teaching. songwriting – you name it.

Field Music seems to play a major role between your influences – right? Any other name of musicians you all like or you would like to mention?
We hold Field Music in very high regard, we also really love The Roches – a band from New Jersey / New York a friend of ours introduced us to a few years ago. Their music is beautiful, witty and weird and they’re great favorites of ours. We’ve also been playing a lot with Ian Black from Slug recently and we love his new album which will be out next year.

Vocal harmonies were your main watermark – and also in this new record there are “classical” pieces, between songs with a completely different approach, such as the first singles – Running and The Message, and other compositions (the heart touching Show me, but also Holding on or A&E). Do you think this “modern pop” will be your main direction, in the future?
It’s hard to say what will be our future direction as we’re much more daring and relaxed about what we’ll try these days. The strong melodic vocal lines will always stay though – we really, really love singing together.


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