American folk with surprising bite.

It’s easy to approach Langan, Frost & Wane’s self-titled debut album under the assumption that it’s a gentle entry into the world of folk. But Brian Langan, RJ Gilligan (aka Frost) and Nam Wayne (Wane) infuse their songs with a sombre starkness that brings to mind Donovan and The Incredible String Band.

Perhaps The Sorcerer and Babe And The Devil are typical of the 15 tracks on offer. The guitar motifs are bathed in a style that not only draws from mid20th century American heritage, but also from the Middle East and India, all performed with an edge that has a lot in common with Frost’s background in rock and punk bands.

The performanc­es are sparse and uncluttere­d, as the musicians don’t care about musical accuracy so much as ensuring the emotion and spirit of the compositio­ns are captured. On occasion, as on Frozen Shell, the way in which the three intertwine is a little jarring, but this is clearly deliberate – it’s evident that they never want the album to be a comfortabl­e listen. Langan, Frost & Wane is frequently downbeat, but the trio do it in a way that ensures this is a welcome addition to the modern folk genre.

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