Folk compilation album Communion is a veritable all you can eat buffet of some of the finest new artists from the London folk and nu-folk community.
But it's is more than just an album. Founded in 2006 at the Notting Hill Arts Club by Ben Lovett (Mumford and Sons), Kevin Jones (Cherbourg, Marcus Foster) and producer Ian Grimble, it became a meeting ground for the burgeoning London folk community, and has championed such luminaries as Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale and Mumford and Sons.
This 21 song collection features some its brightest young stars to have featured in the numerous Communion club nights. Unlike many other compilation records, which tend to contain their fair share of filler, every track here is a winner, and range from the traditional (Jay Jay Pistolet’s snazzy ‘Vintage Red’ and Johnny Flynn’s lovely ‘In The Honour Of Industry’) to the more contemporary (Marcus Foster’s gorgeous ‘Circle In A Square’).
Those of you who think “if you’ve heard one folk song, you’ve heard them all” will be in for a nice surprise. Take Pete Roe’s country-tinged ‘Bellina’, or the poppy quirk of Broadcast 2000’s ‘That Sulking Feeling’. The studied craziness of Beans On Toast's ‘Thirty Things To Do Before You're Thirty’ is what Bert would sound like if he had decided to give up chimney sweeping to become a folk singer.
Looking down the list of artist you will see some familiar names. Indie-folk heroes Mumford and Sons make an appearance with the gospel tinges ‘Sister’, and Alessi’s Ark, who will be touring with Communion alumnus Laura Marling in the spring, adds the wistful and child-like ‘Hands In The Sink’. Other highlights include the haunting ‘February Snow’ by cool quirky folk duo Peggy Sue and Kurran and the Wolfnotes' spell-bounding ‘Pounding Down’.
From start to finish this album is a delight, and a delicious sampling of the very best that the thriving British folk movement has to offer. So go on, don’t be afraid. These people have made folk hip again.