It does not take much but it takes everything. It takes a fiddle and a flute and some other instruments and a few good people with good hands and a lot of soul.
RURA’s David Foley and Jack Smedley have released their first non-RURA outing, Time To Fly, an album of such natural flow, natural sounds and rhythms and so much light of spring and summer, it almost made me float on air when I first listened to it on one of my evening walks. Like Project Smok’s Bayview, this music is now one of my weapons against the encircling inner darkness of this particular time we’re living.
On a purely musical side, Time To Fly’s tunes carry many RURA traces and signatures. If you are the band’s fan – and why wouldn’t you be fer chrissakes? – that will be recommendation enough, but it’s my pleasure to note the difference, too. The overall touch and feel of the music here is a wee bit lighter and, I dunno, “folkier”. The band, featuring Jenn Butterworth, James Lindsay and John Lowrie, plays together like a river flows, so naturally and without any pressure it just makes me smile. Soul music, absolutely.
I have no idea if this was recorded live in the studio but it sure sounds like it; with my headphones on, it feels like I’m not perhaps in a studio with them but rather in a rehearsal room or a small pub, very much there with the musicians. It’s lovely.
The tunes are excellent even if they don’t necessarily open any new doors in this field. They are just very good and the musicians set them alight with every note, and this is the album’s big thing for me. Right now as I’m writing this, the utterly, achingly beautiful Graeme & Carly’s is in my headphones and the love and emotion in Jack Smedley’s playing comes through clearly in every note from his fiddle.
And you know what? The same goes for every track on this album that is brim full of humanity and light and warmth. If that sounds somewhat pompous for an album of Scottish modern instrumental folk music, so be it. But I get from this music such an uplifting and warm vibe (on top of the excellent tunes and playing) I rarely encounter, regardless of the type of music.
So heed the good news and go ye people, get this album and make these strange days better for yourselves.