Thursday, February 21, 2013

Jukebox: Agerskow - "This Train Terminates" / "Fast Hands"

An adopted Geordie having relocated from East Yorkshire, Kate Edwards initially cut her teeth playing in local indie pop group Brilliant Mind before stepping out with her own creative vehicle. Formed in 2011, Agerskow as a project remains in relative infancy, yet it's already won Edwards plenty of plaudits, mostly on the back of live performances accompanied either by cellist Miriam Bennett or bassist John Edgell and drummer Narbi Price in a traditional band format. Now, with a full array of musicians at her disposal, the songwriter is finally preparing to unveil her first official release; a double A-side single featuring the tracks "This Train Terminates" and "Fast Hands," due on 18 March via Newcastle-based label Cottage Industries.

Following on from where earlier gems such as "Break Your Spirit" and "Grand Passions" left off,  both tracks do a fine job in showcasing the brand of whimsical folk-tinged pop Edwards has quickly learned to master. Blending intimate lyricism with a hefty dose of pure, unembelished melody, it's a sound that's not a million miles from the subtle perfection of Belle & Sebastian's early work, and even manages to captures the feelings of blissful innocence which made those records so special. That notion applies especially to "This Train Terminates," a gloriously upbeat gem which coasts along on a cloud of loveliness owing just as much to its luscious cello and organ orchestration as it does to the singer's voice, which in never bursting a lung strikes a beauty truly befitting such tasteful arrangement. If anything, "Fast Hands" is even more touching, its stripped down, wistful allure achieving the considerable feat of standing out even in an environment rife with sensitive singer songwriters of both sexes. It's a tremendous initiation for an artist with untold potential, and as anyone who's seen her live will certify, there's plenty more where they've come from.


"This Train Terminates" / "Fast Hands" will be released on 18 March via Cottage Industries. You can stream both tracks here.


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