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The best new progressive folk releases you can buy this month

Album Review

Paul Sexton scours the new releases to find there’s nowt so prog as folk.

First order of business this month is to tell the dear reader about Dear Reader. That’s the nom de disque (and nom de stream?) of South African-born, Berlin-based adventurer Cherilyn MacNeil, who returns with her first album for four years, Day Fever (City Slang). Recorded in San Francisco, it was introduced late last year by the single and video I Know You Can Hear It, a cool and alluring confection of futuristic and traditional folk and pop components. As the single, the album: reinforced by banks of arresting harmonies, it paints delicate likenesses that are both personal to the artist’s background and universal to the moods of isolation and self-doubt, but always with palpable warmth and optimism. Oh, The Sky! typifies the record’s smart juxtaposition of old and new, with woodwinds and synthesisers collaborating to compelling effect behind MacNeil’s gripping narration. It’s indie-folk of the highest stripe.

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