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Andy Piper of Taplas

reviews Nine Witch Knots by Rubus

THE FIRST album from a new band combines some well-known young talent. The smoothly gliding vocals of Emily Portman are at the fore, complimented by Christi Andropolis’ American influenced fiddle, David Newey’s gentle guitar and occasional drums from newest member Will Schrimshaw.

The songs are sublime traditional English ballads (if of dubious provenance in some cases), with the band adapting each to their own styles. Often the accompaniment is quite minimal, a hint of wild briar around the elegant English rose of Emily’s gentle voice. Even the most up-tempo songs, such as Willy’s Lady, from which the album’s title is eavesdropped, have an understated air about them and, as is often the case with minimally produced music, less is definitely more.