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Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman - Tomorrow Will Follow Today (Review)

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, Tomorrow Will Follow Today

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

HAVING been big fans of Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman’s last record, Hidden People, we have to confess to being a little disappointed with their latest, Tomorrow Will Follow Today.

The husband and wife duo have delivered an album of traditional folk songs that lean heavily on in-depth story-telling, which is fine. But in doing so, they also struggle to deliver many tracks that offer broader appeal.

This is exemplified by an opening track, Child Owlet, that offers up a traditional ballad from the revered Child Ballad collection, and which finds Sean’s chunky, percussive guitar driving Kathryn’s voice along for a dark tale of incest, betrayal and murder. However, it’s too rooted in folk traditions and sounds genre-bound rather than genre-progressing.

Better, is the second track, 52 Hertz, which charts the true story of a lonely whale that roamed the oceans calling out in the “wrong key” of 52 Hertz, which other whales did not appear to recognise. It successfully offers a simple guitar and piano compliment to Kathryn’s sensitive vocals. But even then, it’s very, very folksy and slavish to tradition.

The album actually finds greater success when throwing off the shackles somewhat and picking up the pace, with La Moneca offering a brighter chorus, and Down, Dog! embodying a more folk-rock sound that boasts more crossover potential, especially once it finds its stride.

On a different note, the flutes, beats and acoustics that combine to enliven The Banishing Book (their re-working of The Maid’s Conjuring Book from Thomas D’Urfey’s Songs of Wit and Mirth) is another welcome blast of energy that actually benefits from a more robust form of delivery.

Overall, however, Tomorrow Will Follow Today struggles to inspire as much as it might – and that’s a shame given the beauty of Roberts vocals and the quality of Lakeman’s guitar-playing.

Download picks: The Banishing Book, 52 Hertz, Down, Dog!

Track listing:

  1. Child Owlet
  2. 52 Hertz
  3. A Song to Live By
  4. Tomorrow Will Follow Today
  5. La Moneca (Queen of the Island of Dolls)
  6. Down, Dog!
  7. Rusalka
  8. The Banishing Book
  9. The Robber Bridegroom
  10. Soft the Morning Sun