Bearcraft - Yestreen
A love of English folk you say? Maybe in the lyrical matter and the, at times, very British sounding vocals but that's where the folk connections stop. This is an album firmly planted in eighties synth-pop and despite the initial disappointment that there wasn't much in the way of a folky sound here, Yestreen grows and grows with each listen. The keyboard stabs and funky groove of 'Broadsword' are infinitely catchy and coupled with the treated vocals and all-out chorus result in a bizarrely brilliant tune. Fantastical lyrics are all over this too, none more so on debut single 'The Werewolf' with its icy, spectral synthesizers and and a heap load more funk. Elsewhere 'The Omega Point' introduces metal-tinged guitars at the start before a refrain of "hallelujah" continues, turning the song into a Cure-like amalgamation of 80's new-wave, goth and industrial rock. The unique mind behind Bearcraft has obviously poured his heart into making such a fully realised and strangely satisfying pop record. Impressive.