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Annie Windley of EFDSS

reviews Nobody here but us.. by Hen Party

Heres unaccompanied harmony singing of its bestl Alison Muir, Sarah Morgan and Heather Bradford aka Hen Party obviously have great fun performing together ? their delight in their singing and their harmonies is apparent in every vibrant track. Each singer is aware of the scope of her own voice and confident in what she brings to the trio, so the whole is a series of joyful and exuberant performances of traditional songs from England and America and ones from the pens of writers as diverse as Bertholt Brecht and Mick Ryan.

Theres a variety of pace, arrangement and dynamics throughout the album. From the opening track, The Wind and The Rain strongly sung at a cracking pace and with a clever use of one, two and three voices, to Cape Breton lullaby, a gentle arrangement where the voices blend particularly well and with effective unison singing on the second verse. From the rousing The Shores of Jordan, which sounds as if its performed with a smile on their faces, to Peggy Seegers Hushabye My Laddie, a mothers lullaby, which is sung with real feeling.

The material sits really well together, especially the selection of war?related songs in the middle of the album, which avoids being doom?laiden, while still getting the messages across. It starts with a beautiful chant, Sea Invocation, asking for safe weather for a sailor love and leads straight into Tarry Trousers, sung in a jaunty manner, perfectly invoking the girl with a bit of character who wants to go to battle, and who quite enjoys the excitement. This is followed by Mick Ryans Flanders Tommy, just made for rousing harmonies, Keith Marsdens wonderful anti- war song Normandy Orchards, sung extremely sensitively, and a darker, starker rendition of The Wife of The Soldier, which reminds how war affects those waiting at home.

Altogether, a wonderful album.