Tristram - Accidents & Artifice
Craig Broad 03/12/2010
It is a great time to be a folk band in the UK with the continuing success of Mumford & Sons, not to mention Laura Marling's foray into the top forty charts, and the consistent publication of upcoming folk bands in popular magazines like NME (Villagers, Grizzly Bear and the list goes on...), if anything, the insurgence only looks like it is going to gain speed rather than falter.
With 'Accidents & Artifice', Tristram, a four piece band who met in Brighton quickly moving to London shortly after, show that with this, their second EP to date, they are more than ready to not only work with the success in the genre currently, but to, given the almost stagnant nature of the folk sound, help it to evolve into something more upbeat and original. Most folk bands are happy to rely on a minimal sound, concentrating on the guitar and well crafted lyrics, but from opener 'Dust Disturbed' and its follow up 'Song For Laurie', it's fairly obvious that Tristram have a high level on focus on driving drum beats too, filling any space left with haunting cello. 'Rhyme Or Reason' showcases Tristram Bawtree's ability to write infectious vocal melodies, harking back to Nick Drake's 'One Of These Things First' while fourth and final track 'Coelacanth' sees Tristram slowing down the pace for a more reflective sound.
'Accidents & Artifice' is an accomplished EP, my only criticism is that it is just that, an EP, only four tracks and it seems to be over just after it has begun. Great things await this band if they can ride the wave of folk popularity long enough to record a full length.