God is in the TV

Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou’s debut gets a glowing review on the GIITT website.

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Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou – Loose Music (Anglophone Recording Company)

Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou are a husband/wife duo formed from the dregs of Indigo Moss, a London based band who helped form the prerequisite for the folk revival in Britain. Although they found academic success in a support slot with The Good, The Bad and the Queen, and critical acclaim for their eponymous debut, the five-piece failed to make the waves their bluegrass infused folk and country truly deserved, and by mid 2007 the majority of the members, bar Trevor and Hannah-Lou, had left to pursue other interests.

This was by no means the end, because the break made way for Loose Music, an extraordinary technical and musical achievement, particularly given popular trend; everyone and his dog are vying for fame under the ‘nu folk’ tag, and it seems there are few out there with genuine original talent, but Trevor and Hannah-Lou fill that condition unquestionably. Their new album manages the extraordinary feet of honouring dignities past and presenting the listener with timeless classic after timeless classic, all the while consistently ignoring what the mainstream would like them to be.

The most immediate token is the infectious, wizened and unconventional vocals – Trevor is our Marianne Faithful, if Marianne Faithful could sing, his vocals crack the very infrastructure of your soul, while Hannah-Lou compliments the concoction with her birdsong, ethereal quality. They could be singing about putting the rubbish out – or indeed making a cup of tea – and it would still resonate the importance of the tales and fables your Grandmother used to tell you. This in itself, from two 20-something-year-olds, is an accomplishment.

References to root vegetables, umbrellas, teatime television and public libraries are scattered across every song, notably so on “One Wednesday in June”, “Concorde” and “Allotment Song”; they dissolve the memory of a long and testing family journey into the nostalgic glory of the innocence of childhood. This could be a very personal summary (my Dad used to play The Byrds while he cut the grass and my Mum picked blackberries with me every Sunday) but I’m positive the charms of these songs are magical, and possibly laced with some hypnotic medicine.

Most of the songs brandish the grizzled character of the 1950’s Beat Generation and the folk uprising that followed in America, but a few (“Sally Took the Ivory” and “Heaven Knows”) side-step into territory last patrolled by Fiona Bevan – haunting and lark-like. What all tracks have in common is a timelessness and superior quality that removes them far from contemporary competition. This goes some way to explain why other reviewers have struggled to properly peg the atmosphere of Loose Music – comparisons will not suffice. Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou are past them.

4.5 stars

Tiffany Daniels

www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk