The Lost Cavalry move to establish themselves in the Indie Folk scene with their new album, Three Cheers For The Undertaker. The album was released on the 16 September by Folkroom Records. Upon listening to the album, it is clear that this six piece alternative folk collective from London is something to shout about.
The band itself was founded by former Fanfarlo guitarist Mark West. West, on the brink of touring America in 2009, decided to step away from Fanfarlo and start something new. West bought his influence over to The Lost Cavalry which is evident when you listen to the Fanfarlo record Reservoir prior to sampling West’s new material. However, that is not to say that The Lost Cavalry sounds like an extension of Fanfarlo. West’s new fellow band members Toby Atkins (guitar, vocals), Nick Goold (guitar), Oliver Whitehead (bass), Jonny Tansey (drums) and Derek Yau (melodica) bring energy and depth which nudges the band to a unique sound. The new album, Three Cheers For The Undertaker, is woven with beautifully structured progression and strong harmonies reminiscent of, if not a little more relaxed, early Beirut.
The first track Secret Steps opens the album with strong, clear vocals, the canter of a steady snare and the accompaniment of an almost dreamy chorus. The album starts of as it means to go on; energetic, rich and with a varied instrumental accompaniment. Every chorus is broken up with a layer of, almost solitary, vocals which is then united by a blast of instrumental expression.
Snow City Radio also continues the theme and the pace of the album with a perfect balance between isolating layers of vocals and a ‘full speed ahead’ support of instrumental accessory. Stars Are Ripe slips in seamlessly next. At this point it is easy to appreciate just how well crafted the start of the album is, developing from an energetic opening towards a pace that is attainable throughout. The lyrics towards the end of Stars Are Ripe seem to indicate the direction of the rest of the album, “I’m on my way/Hey/I’m on my way/My way home”. This leads into a steady paced Stare Out To Sea which feels exactly like the title suggests; consistent, calm and relaxing.
Three Cheers For The Undertaker continues this theme of sporadic energetic bursts hand in hand with steady, gentle melodies. This is displayed magically with the eerie finish to Only Forward followed directly with the uplifting and familiar Desert Tracks.
Three Cheers For The Undertaker ends with the track Mono. This conclusion to the album seems light years away from how the album started but with such a varied album, it is no surprise. Certain tracks seem to paint a clear night sky (Last Stand) while others seem to stimulate limbs into fast paced movement (Desert Tracks). Overall the audience can reflect on the journey they have been on – an exhausting, busy but structured and fun trip through the wonders of the album.
The debut album by The Lost Cavalry has made a statement of intent. This six piece are ready to make great music. This year alone has been a busy one for them and if they continue to produce music like this album then the band will continue to pack out their diaries. When looking at the horizon of the folk music scene, only one thing springs to mind . . . ‘Here comes The Cavalry’.
By Luke Bennett.