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Album Review

Wistful British folk duo Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker follow up make their Rough Trade debut with Overnight, their third album overall. It follows their sparsely arranged four-song EP, Through the Clouds, which appeared earlier in 2016, offering a brief glimpse of the forthcoming set. Like each of the duo's releases, Overnight works in a misty milieu of hushed folk delicacy with Clarke's pearly voice weaving around the tasteful guitar work of her counterpart. As far as arrangements go, it's not quite as spartan as the EP that preceded it, though it is ultimately more minimalist than the lush chamber folk of 2014's Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour. A mix of originals and well-chosen covers, Clarke and Walker continue to favor the traditions of U.K. folk with occasional forays into Americana, classical, and jazz. In fact, one of Overnight's highlights is a transcontinental tribute to another acclaimed folk duo in their cover of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings' "Dark Turn of Mind," an earthy gem which takes a more ethereal tone here and features a lovely string arrangement from Walker. The gentle indie pop of the Clarke original, "The Waning Crescent," is a nice surprise, breaking up a string of fragile tracks with a slight tempo and mood boost. Walker's orchestrations and guitar work are thoughtful and elegant throughout and Clarke's voice is its own sweet instrument, making for another well-recorded collection.

Customer Reviews

Folk music you must hear!

I saw Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker at LotusFest 2016 on their first US tour. This duo is impressive. Josienne writes beautiful, melancholic songs that made me happy, such as "The Waning Crescent", and she delivers them with a touch of classical vocal training and with gracefulness. Ben's guitar playing and his arrangements cast her songs in a perfect bouquet. The duo officially scored the BBC Folk Award for Best Duo in 2015. In terms of British Folk, Clarke & Walker channel Sandy Denny & The Fairport Convention, Vashti Bunyan, Nick Drake, Ralph McTell & John Martyn. Songs you must hear from their back catalog include "Homemade Heartache," "Every Tear Means Change," "Silverline," "It Would Not Be A Rose," "Done," and this brand new collection. Buy it. Discover this vital new sound in British Folk! I want to see them again and soon when they come back to the US.

Biography

Formed: 2012 in London, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '10s

British folk duo Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker began their musical partnership in 2010 with the release of Our Light Is Gone, a delicately arranged and deeply melancholic set that recalled folk icons like Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, and Joni Mitchell. Though that album was credited to Clarke alone, it served to introduce Walker as her collaborator, arranger, and accompanist. With 2012's Homemade Heartache EP, the now evenly billed duo established themselves in the U.K. folk scene, drawing critical praise...
Full Bio
Overnight, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
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