Josh Bray - Whisky & Wool
Emerging from the Devon soil like a rare folk sapling sprouts a bristled, yet delicate singer-songwriter specimen who goes by the name of Josh Bray (or, Joshus Brayus if you wanted to look him up in the Botanical Index). Taking his lead from artists such as Nick Drake, Neil Young, and not forgetting of course the mighty Bob Dylan, Bray set out to create a record that features as much blues as it does folk. The result of this musical amalgamation takes the form of Bray’s debut album offering, Whisky & Wool, a record that acts as a follow-up to the EP of the same name released late last year.
Steeping tracks such as the hum-inducing ‘This Is Life’ and the Laura Marling-esque 'Bigger Than The Both Of Us' in his detuned style, Bray manages to provide a charmed yet rustic edge with a determined ease, one that may in fact be rarer than a banker without a bonus in these auto-tune addiction days. There is no doubt however, that within the record Bray has succeeded in the spawning of a new breed of folk and blues, carefully weeding out the weaker strands with a flick of a string, whilst expertly retaining the dominant genes from both. This faultless balance can be heard in every strum of Whisky & Wool, epitomised perhaps in stand-out track, ‘The River Song’, which is so magnetising that even iron filings are drawn to it.
Although at times the tracks seem to melt into one full-fat folk globule, dipping your ears into the sound waves emitting from Bray's carefully teased melodies instantly places any worries on pause. So grab a handful of daisies and string them together.