Folk music has been back in a big way in recent years – mostly because of the huge success of bands such as Mumford and Sons. This suits me fine, it’s always nice to have a counterbalance to throwaway lyrics of pop connotations, and be provided with heart-melting verses every now and again. Skinny Lister are one of the latest high flyers on the folky hybrid bandwagon, and second album Down on Deptford Broadway shows no signs of them slowing down.
Opening songs are usually used as a gentle way into a record, but Raise a Wreck almost pushes you in. It’s a nice push though; monotone sounds flow through the background, as growing vocals arouse a sea shanty that thumps along with a single beat from a bass drum. Guitars kick in, reminding you of Adam and The Ant’s Prince Charming, and raise the song above the water.
Trouble on Oxford Street has the kind of ruthless vocals that hit you right between the eyes. Sounding like a mix between Joe Strummer of The Clash and Shane MacGowan of The Pogues, it pulls off the best of both worlds. The music isn’t as rough and ready as either band, but is instead jaunty and, at times, incendiary.
What can I say sees lead vocals switch from Dan to Lorna, and it’s a nice break up to have this ace in the band’s pocket. The vocals add more humility to a slow and friendly folk ballad. Six Whiskies will leave you thinking of The Corrs set against a London skyline, in a song filled with imagery of the English capital and hearts on sleeves.
With the mix of musical styles jumping around through the record, you’re never going to get bored. The tale of love and scorn on Bold as Brass turns into a right ol’ knees up, and should have you finding the nearest stranger to link arms with. This City tries for a more poppy feel with simple melody, and although seems plainer than other tracks, it is a grower.
An eclectic mix of folk, irish, indie and ‘pirate music’ join forces to create something special here. You can hear every band member’s influence throughout this record, and it’s a big step forward. Skinny Lister has a future, and the future is bright and folky.