Librarians produce great folk musicians, June Tabor being one, and… that’s it really! Libraries are also quiet relaxing places of tranquillity and Bristol’s five-piece have reproduced just that with their début EP. Libraries are often full of literacy masterpieces and through songwriter Martin Callingham we find the section easily enough. Yes the artistic ingredients are there, and wonderfully and systematically arranged they are, too.
There are four tracks on The Weight of the Line EP, all written and produced by singer and guitarist Martin Callingham with his mix of heady intoxicating indie acoustic folk music and with vocals tones not being too dissimilar to Sufjan Stevens (QRO live review), which is clearly no bad thing.
"When The Wood Comes Down" is beautiful with its sparse acoustic guitars from Callingham and Tom van Eker nailed together by the chimes from Houdies keyboards, reaching a fitting end with Will Simpson’s rising cello and harmonies throughout remind greatly of a throwback to Donegals Clannad. Second track on the EP is "From The Foot of Troopers Hill" and is probably an ode to a wildlife oasis just three miles from the centre of Bristol city centre. The track would fit snug alongside any hilly mound on a hot hazy summers day with dragonfly wings beating the air, as the overlapping harmonies envelope the finals rays of the sun as it exits for another day.
In "Land", Joyce The Librarian lift the tempo with a rising chorus of "Our Day Will Come", or in Gaelic it would be, "Tiocfaidh ár lá," unofficially the slogan of the Irish Republican movement. There is the addition of percussion from Suzanne Lambert and trumpets and flugelhorn by Jim Cornick, which ensure this track prances along. "The Weight of the Line" is the final track is arguably the best track on the EP, but is over all to soon at two minutes and twenty-two seconds. Well honed and steered by Callingham and kept on course by Simpson’s cello, "Built to sail but we sink like the sun."
For those who enjoy Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent (QRO spotlight on), Iron and Wine (QRO live review), and Bon Iver (QRO album review), you will love Joyce The Librarian and would do well to spend your Christmas money wisely here http://joycethelibrarian.bandcamp.com/