Seedlings All – Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker

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 and earning the Isambard Folk Award and the FATEA Female Vocalist of the Year Award. Fire & Fortune, their debut album, arrived in 2013, followed by more accolades for their mix of originals and traditional fare that also mixed in tones of Americana and classical. Arriving in 2014, the chamber folk offering Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour shined further light on Walker’s rich arrangements and Clarke’s sweet, bell-like vocals. In 2016, the duo signed with Rough Trade, which quickly issued Through the Clouds, an EP that introduced subtle textures into the duo’s sound. The EP also acted as a teaser for their fourth LP, Overnight, which appeared in October of that year. Like their previous releases, Overnight contained a mix of originals and traditional fare with an emphasis on detailed arrangements. Expanding both their sound and approach, 2018’s Seedlings All introduced light jazzy elements into the tonal mix and was the first of the duo’s releases to be made up entirely of Clarke’s original material. ~ Timothy Monger

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