Folk is a label that is repeatedly, carelessly and lazily added to any music that is acoustic in nature. Yvonne McDonnell could be called an ‘electric folk’ musician; there is certainly enough evidence to justify this. There is the dusky soul of a miner to her music in her voice, with a Celtic aftertaste that should please die-hard folkies everywhere. If you need a point of reference, it would be mid-era Joni Mitchell. Lost in the desert, wondering what it all means.
This also comes across in the chiming Pastorian guitar chords – high up in the mix, pushing the melody onwards. It’s an unorthodox approach, but unlike most unorthodox approaches it works. The lyrics repeat phrases and words, giving them a hypnotic edge. It’s music that is genuinely felt.
Of the six tracks here, ‘Time’ is the most obvious. However, I found the closer ‘And You Sin’ the real standout. A bitter goodbye to an ex, everything feels pared back, raw, emotional; rather than disingenuous.
With the grace and power of a heavyweight boxer, Endless Soul is an impressive debut. Tear off the labels and listen.