- 16 Oct 18
Spellbinding autumnal listening.
English folk singer John Smith’s Hummingbird is a fine thing, beautifully combining a classic rustic vibe with poetic lyrics. Having spent over 15 years touring with just his trusty guitar, Smith has cultivated an enthralling style. On this album, he pays affecting homage to major influences like Nick Drake, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. But he is his own man.
In ‘The Time Has Come’, a bittersweet parting turns autumn to winter, making for a typically stunning Smith reverie. Another highlight is the wonderful ‘Willy Moore’: believed to date from the early 20th century – the original author is unknown – the song tells the captivating tale of two young lovers being force-separated by circumstance.
The standout track, though, is undeniably ‘Axe Mountain’. A powerful tale of savage revenge, the song takes us on a journey through a small town amid deep wells of trauma and hypocrisy. Providing a nice contrast, the hypnotic ‘Unquiet Grave’ is a solemn hymn mourning the loss of a loved one.
Devastating at times, cautiously optimistic at others, Hummingbird is a hugely compelling listen.