The much respected Fatea Magazine has been writing about music for many years, and produces a quarterly downloadable collection of new music it feels merits promotion to a wider audience. The current session, “Connections”, was released on 1 August 2014 and will be available as an exclusive free download from their website for three months.

The Fatea Showcase Sessions are “designed to provide greater exposure to artists that have impressed the Fatea team. Some are already signed, others are carving a solo trail, releasing songs on their own labels, all are dedicated to their music.”

The compilation has been expertly curated by Neil King, Fatea Magazine’s Managing Editor, who has worked tirelessly for many years supporting acoustic music of all flavours, from folk to blues, to Americana and country.

This compilation of 18 original tracks reflects the eclectic and diverse interests of the magazine’s team of editors and reviewers and the vast numbers of CDs that pass across their desks for consideration and review. Kadia are honoured to have been selected for inclusion on the current collection and humbled to be in the company of such talented musicians. Here, in a break from creating and performing our own music, we turn our hand to writing a music review, and our picks are as follows:

Luke Tuchscherer “One of Us”
David – upbeat Western style track featuring banjo. Sounds like The Devil Makes Three.

Hattie Briggs “Pull Me Down”
Chris – a beautiful combination of delicate vocals and piano creates a gentle ballad sharing a reflective story. My favourite song on the compilation (apart from Beacon Fires of course!)
David – this is a stand out track, with great lyrics and progression. The production is excellent too, and I like its position in the flow of the compilation as a whole.

Rowan Ross “Another Book”
Lee – sounds like Newton Faulkner, subtle but intricate violin arrangements that bring some beautiful harmony to the fore.

Zoe Wren “Pandora’s Box”
Lee – a narrative, story telling quality and pure vocal with a technique that is both a pleasure to listen to and never gets in the way of enjoying the lyrical content of the song. The vocal glissando/portamento adds a lovely quality to the cadences. The rhythm guitar has a driving quality through the choruses and suggests a gradual building of tension towards the song’s climax.
David – Perfect track to complete a great compilation of talent and creativity.

Matthew the Oxx “The River”
David – this track has a Fleet Foxes feel with cascading guitar work which creates an ethereal atmosphere, and soundscape vocals. Exponential tension builds but remains light, a calm before the storm effect.

Kate in the Kettle “Green and Gold”
Lee – I like the violin arrangements and the vocal harmony, the exotic Arabic quality of the different layers and beautifully arched vocal melodies.

CrossHarbour “Chicago”
Chris – an interesting combination of traditional Irish fiddling with acoustic guitar which, while sitting awkwardly over the first movement, develops an almost smooth jazz element with 7th chords in the second movement, lifting into the third movement then reverting similar motifs in the fourth as it slows to an end. The guitarist has the quickest capo movement ever in the YouTube video!

Rough Island Band “Sevenstones’”
David – the 7/8 time signature creates some really nice phrasing in the melody sections. Minimalist percussion roots the listener.
Lee – texturally interesting, but never so busy as to become muddy. Amazing technique and arrangements with an uplifting sound comparable to Urban Folk Quartet and Big Tent at the Gypsy Lantern. Engaging complexity and compelling rhythms.

Ruth Keggin “Fin As Oshin”
Chris – a Manx Gaelic song which captivated me with the melodic phrasings. I have, to this day, no idea what the song is about, whether it’s a happy story of love or a mournful song about loss and death. The song builds and adds various instrumental layers throughout which further hypnotise me whilst being captured by the vocal melody. An abrupt ending woke me from my trance.
David – this is an Isle of Man poem sung in Gaelic. Nice voice.

Taking a step back from the individual tracks it is clear that much thought has been given to the running order of the collection. The songs are a very diverse mix from simply accompanied singer/songwriter tracks through upbeat country style and folky foot stompers to hectic Irish fiddle tunes. The collection undulates through a neat cross section of all these styles before rising to a natural halftime punctuation point with the up tempo country flavoured Matthew the Oxx’s “The River”. In the days of vinyl our own EP title track “Beacon Fires” would provide the kickoff point for the B side as the collection deftly weaves together another fine selection of varied musical styles. As they say on their website, ‘Fatea hopes that this compilation gives you a taste for folk and roots orientated music and that you will seek out the works of the artists included in this compilation’. We certainly have, and have got to know some great music!

Download “Connections” here.


Review kindly put together by David, Chris and Lee of Kadia.

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