James Elkington: Wintres Woma review – warmly whirling folk guitar | Music

It’s perverse to release an album in midsummer with a title that means “the sound of winter” in old English, but James Elkington has created a convincing, warmly whirling weather system of his own here. Elkington is an ex-noise/indie-rocker from the M25 commuter belt who has long lived in Chicago; here, he fell in love with Bert Jansch’s intricate fingerpicking figures and mastered them gamely (since then he has worked with Richard Thompson and local heroes Wilco). His guitar is the best thing on this record, sound eddying through the title track like pools of bright water, filling out solid folk-influenced songs such as Any Afternoon. His voice is looser, shrugging, unsteady, not always gelling with his instrument, although its nonchalance gives Grief Is Not Coming a serrated edge; elsewhere, it can sound oddly indifferent. Nevertheless, this is a very promising beginning, boldly shifting the seasons.

Make It Up by James Elkington

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