There are not many bands that seem to sit in a genre of their own making, but such is the unique and immediately recognisable sound of Bridie Jackson and The Arbour that if they were to make such a claim it would be greeted by nods of approval and murmurs of agreement. Far From The Tree highlights everything that is great about this band, one whose supporters and well-placed media champions seem to grow daily. It is not just the mix of minimalist folk and classical choral, the crystal clear deliveries and the perfect, clean-limbed arrangements; it is because they know just where the boundary lines are. The lines that enable them to be melancholic rather than miserable, sonorous whilst retaining accessibility and hooks, beautifully chilled, whilst possessing a warm heart.
The B-side, Final Lullaby, has its roots in a piece originally written for massed choirs and as such is presented here very much with that in mind, the strings sweeping through the vocal melody lines in perfect harmony suggesting the big choral sound it was born of.
One advantage of knowing where the generic boundaries, largely a journalistic device anyway, lay, is that you know how to avoid them, to fuse sounds together in new ways and even suggest new territory to aim for. Bridie Jackson and The Arbour is at the forefront of a whole new classical/folk wave creating music that seems able to be both highbrow and popularist at the same time and for that I can’t thank them enough.