Thursday, 1 October 2015

Ballad Of The Talking Dog

Even a seven-word review can hit you if the words are right. The words were right and dealt with the hugely uncomfortable art of Mary Hampton. The album was My Mother’s Children and the year was 2008.

My Mother’s Children was singular, deeply disturbing folk music that could appear oddly appealing if you were in that kind of disturbed state of mood. Certainly this was not an album to be played to a bunch of friends at a dinner party. They wouldn’t understand and probably freak out during the strikingly non-ballad-like “Ballad Of The Talking Dog”. 

At the time when bearded folkies were annoying you with their fake, washed-out confessionals, this was the slightest waft of fresh air. And the cover, too, was either funny or (more likely) bewildering. The record felt sparse and just plain wrong. But reassuringly so. Then, three years later, along came Folly and the music was just as good and just as uncomfortable… Hopefully, a new one is on the way.