Ingrid Plum / The Tunnel Recordings

I didn’t want to open my cd of Ingrid Plum’s Tunnel Recordings EP. Not because I didn’t want to hear what was on it, but because the packaging was so nice – a handmade origami case, closed up with a wax seal. And my cd is number one of a hundred. But it wouldn’t be much of a review if I just told you what the outside was like.

We’ve already written about Ingrid this week, after her set at Monday’s Bleeding Hearts Club. The cd contains five acapella recordings each recorded in one take in a tunnel in Brighton (I’ve been told where it is, but I’m also sworn to secrecy!), the reverb from which gives the tracks a curious feeling of intimacy. The sound sits somewhere between folk and hymnal music, raw and laid bare, and the effect is quite disarming – so rarely is music presented in such a stripped down form these days.

Despite such an old sound, all of the songs on the EP are modern : Three songs are original compositions by Ingrid, supplemented with a poem by Yeats put to music by Ingrid and a cover of Chris T-T’s M1 Song (shown below at monday’s Bleeding Hearts). The EP is available to buy via Bandcamp.

Cate Ferris / deep breath ready get set GO

Cate Ferris has been a live favourite of ours for a few years before we even started the blog. Over that time she’s developed an impressive one woman set involving a guitar, several keyboards, flute, guiro, drum and a loop pedal.

My fear before hearing the cd was how it would sound. Would the tracks stand up without the performance element to them? Would putting the songs into a studio setting make them lose all their charm?

Thankfully there’s nothing to worry about, mainly because the one constant throughout everything isn’t affected all. Cate’s warm rich voice is what really elevates the live sets, and hasn’t been held back on the recordings either. Under the watchful eye of Tim Bidwell (who’s also produced the likes of Jennifer Left and House of Hats) the vocals are at the fore and a band has been put together to bolster the sound that Cate makes on her own when she plays live.

Leave a Light On is a sad acoustic number with lovely strings. Trapeze is almost circus-like with it’s flute flourishes. Condensation is the track the gives the EP it’s slightly wordy title, and is a more upbeat stomper. If you’re wondering where you might have heard Doll on a Music Box before then, yes, it is from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Cate’s EP is out now and available through Bandcamp