Monday, 7 April 2014

THE FRUITFUL EARTH - ALBUM REVIEW

The Fruitful Earth - Rising Sun (Big Peach Records) 
The Fruitful Earth - Rising Sun

Release Date: 28th April 2014

This was hugely unexpected which is always a good thing as predictability is the death of invention. The Fruitful Earth are essentially a trio formed around the vocal and piano talents of one Sarah Blair and the album starts with 'Firebird' which acts as though it's going to be an experimental neo-classical jazz adventure before gliding effortlessly in to a late Beatles meets prime Bowie pop tune. Blair's beautifully languid style is again evidence on 'Sun' but on 'Honey Bee' she takes things to a higher level and stops teasing the ivories, preferring to make hot, sticky love to those keys in the most soulful way possible. It would be lazy to compare this to the music of Tori Amos (woman with a piano blah blah blah) when actually The Fruitful Earth are somewhere fun between the Ben Folds Five, David Bowie, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young - 'Up All Night' being a great example of this blend as well as the rag'n'roll of 'Natural High' which does what Joss Stone has been trying to approach for years with ease and style.

As you might expect, 'Rolling Free' is an inspirationally emotive song that has the sensitivity of an Indigo Girls tune and more than a nod to country music as those rich key notes lay thickly over the simple but perfectly placed drum beat. And then there's 'Shake'. 'Shake' is a song that deserves to be the theme tune to an awesome 70s cop show featuring great cars, cool hair and go-go dancers in every episode who work in a club called Shake but solve crimes in their spare time. This song is Hendrix on the piano and Tina on vocal which is pretty much all you need to know. If you've got in late after a night out at Shake then the tune you want to wake up to is 'Sweet Music' which is full of warm, seductive tones and, more importantly, vocals that are aural version of a warm cup of coffee - comforting and invigorating in equal measure. Now, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is an American record but a song called 'Ford Cortina' soon corrects your misgivings and takes you on a nostalgia trip for old cars that have personalities of their very own. The album finishes with an epic song that has a title which I surprised is not used more, quite simply this is 'Love'. The hypnotic, Lennon-esque piano melody and shuffling drums build slowly and purposefully until there is an all-out blues jam at the end. These guys are seriously talented musicians and songwriters but, most importantly, they have enough soul to feel every note they churn out which is what makes this such an awe inspiring album. Gotta get me a copy of this for the car...

More information: http://www.thefruitfulearth.com/

Live Dates:

1st May - Album Launch @ Servant Jazz Quarters, Dalston
3rd May - The Gladstone, Borough

6th May - The Pelton Arms, Greenwich

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