Marcus Foster - Nameless Path

With his signing to Communion Records last Christmas, a label that includes Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett on the owner deeds, fraught comparisons between t'Sons and London singer/songwriter Marcus Foster might be expected. And rightly so. Both have found themselves submerged within water rapidly increasing in depth as more and more artists become added to the folksy flood, only to be kept afloat by the urge to grasp onto their guitars.

But there seems to be something quite different with Foster, a drive that sticks two fingers up to quick-fix signings and strives instead for a detonation of a blues and folk dynamite mixture that's so cataclysmic, it's like handing the Smurfs a TNT-filled acoustic guitar. Within his debut Nameless Path, Marcus confronts his embedded angst with barbed-wire vocal tones that tirelessly cut through brass pleasantries to reveal a broken core, one that seems to only be stitched back up again by the faithful strings of his sacrificial guitar. This is where the blues come into play, producing a record that expels so much atmosphere, we had to give in and invest in a dehumidifier. We're not joking. It's with commercially-resistant artists like Foster that we're able to strip back the padded-out anthemic nonsense and get back to those perilously sprouting roots. So, when the next fake folk-wannabee turns out to be as much as a failure as Facebook's attempt at privacy settings, you know where to aim your ears. You're welcome. It's our job.

Overall

8

out of 10

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