Shoreline: From Eden, Home & In Between
Yesternow Recording Co.

Yesternow, a new label dedicated to homespun acoustic music, makes an auspicious debut with this lovely 10-inch vinyl slab featuring five songs by Brighton-based Shoreline (guitarist Tom Cowan and Italian-born singer Beatrice Sanjust). The group's sound may call to mind current practitioners like Joanna Newsom and Vashti Bunyan but it also references a long-standing prog-folk tradition with Sanjust channeling Renaissance's Annie Haslam, for example, in the opening song. Though sparsely arranged, “Lightning” entrances on two counts: Sanjust's sweetly lilting vocal melody, plus the xylophone accents that percussively knock add distinctive contrast to Cowan's acoustic guitar. Delicate hums lend “Shipwrecked” a lullaby, campfire quality before the duo weaves a lulling chant over a banjo-guitar base, while “Sounds Like” is deliciously buoyant, with harp arpeggios first animating Sanjust's bright vocal and then Beach Boys-styled harmonies. If From Meden, Home & In Between is representative of so-called New Folk, more please.

June 2006