Fritillaries “Fritillaries”

Pear O’Legs Records, 2022

Sensitive, wistful and accomplished folky debut album from Bristol based duo.

Art work for Fritillaries album "Fritillaries"Fritillaries are a type of plant which produce bell-shaped, chequered flowers in the spring. The Fritillaries the band comprise Hannah Pawson and Gabriel Wynne who have been making music together since they were children, playing songs centred on guitar, mandolin and banjo.

This album is the culmination of many years of musical experiences. Signing to Pear O’Legs Records in 2021, allowed the duo to consider more expansive arrangements for their songs. The album also features Andy Hamill on double bass, Kit Massey playing violin and piano, Ru Lemer on synth, together with Anna Colette and John Blek singing backing vocals. With the additional musicians, the duo felt like it was a change in their “sound system”, making the analogy that it was akin to “stepping out of our car and heading into the cinema”, but without losing their organic musical chemistry.

Fittingly, given their name, the first song, ‘Unearthing‘ was based on a poem written by Pawson’s mother, Ali, about digging through the dirt and planting Fritillaries. It’s as close as possible to being the title track with Pawson singing, ‘Grasp the hand of remembering, Unearthing the places that we hide, Now I sow Fritillaries’. However, it’s more than a song about gardening, it’s about sorting through the troubles of years gone by and generally reflecting on the complexities of life.

Lost My Mind’ was written as a reaction to building a life around live music and then that disappearing overnight in 2020, when the first lockdown hit, leaving the band feeling adrift. ‘Suspending’ is a dreamlike song highlighting Pawson’s pure voice. The album comes full circle, closing with the ‘Nights Are Drawing In‘, a beautiful song with the protagonist looking out the window at the fritillaries as the winter begins to set in.

Although at first listen The Fritillaries debut album may appear to be rooted in the British folk tradition, it also draws on elements of Americana. It’s a charmingly, thoughtful and haunting record well worthy of your attention.


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