Jackie Oates

"Hyperboreans"

(One Little Indian); Folk

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Charm is abundant on this debut from Jackie Oates, formerly a member of the Mercury nominated Rachel Unthank and the Winterset.

It's always a bit of a brave step to venture out on your own, but on this beautiful album of pastoral traditional pieces and a few quirky sidesteps, there's not a trace of a quiver.

With her unique, quietly discernible lisp, and gorgeous purity of tone, she treats these songs with respect and a delightfully fresh perspective. And she's assisted by some classy friends.

Her brother, Jim Moray, leaves his stamp everywhere - producing the album and playing a range of instruments from bazouki to banjo and samples, his presence is a mighty force in steering the sound. Combining dexterity and ebullience in equal measure, he's an adept multi-instrumentalist with a delicate touch. Which is what an album like this requires.

Highlights include a heartstring tugging rendition of Young Leonard, an adventurous and joyful interpretation of the Sugarcubes' Birthday, and a tender and delicate rendition of an attractively arranged version of Henry Lawson's poem, Past Caring, which is sung as if the characters were personal friends of Oates'.

It's quietly lapping English brooks, sunbeams streaming through autumn leaves, the brush of breeze on your cheek as you lie in an open field. Songs and sensations from hundreds of years ago through to now, and just as enjoyable as it ever was.

Lovely.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.