Monday 26 August 2013

Dodson and Fogg - Sounds of Day and Night

Album review by

It's mildly interesting to note that Dodson and Fogg contain no-one bearing either of those names. Rather they are they project of (primarily) Chris Wade who is accompanied on much here by Celia Humphris of the band Trees and other guests and friends dotted about the album. 'Sounds of Day and Night' is the third Dodson and Fogg album, and in their career so far they've been described as many things, including folk-rock, psych, acid-folk and more. On initial impressions (that is listening to the instrumental opening couplet of 'Sounds of Day and Night Pt.1' and 'Hear it in the Morning (Still)') it seems obvious that someone forgot to mention prog, as this is definitely in evidence here. There are also a few more conventional tracks such as 'Night Train' or 'Clocking Off'.

Another folky album is enough to make most people run for the hills, but because of the eclectic nature of the songs here that needn't be the case. Plus, Dodson and Fogg seem to be about enjoying themselves, and making sure that other people enjoy themselves too. So even more straightforward songs like 'Lost In Words' or 'Free In The Night' are a good listen. At other points we're reminded of the solo work of heroes like Syd Barrett ('Lying In The Sun'), Nick Drake ('Life Is All Around Me', 'How Can You Be True') and other more "credible" artists. It's in more random, meandering, inventive songs that the psych comparison comes from ('Lonely Little Bird', 'Feel It In The Air Around Yourself', 'Morning Love').

So to put it simply, unless you're now past the point of no return with anything remotely folk influenced, then 'Sounds of Day and Night' is worth giving a go. It won't convert you, because it doesn't belong to a genre you can be converted to. It belongs in a genre of its own, and even if you throw in comparisons like Pentangle, Fairport Convention and even Jethro Tull (all of which are valid) this doesn't emulate any of them. It takes their ground work and twists it into new shapes, so acid folk works, as does the whole eccentric singer-songwriter lineage that includes people like Kevin Ayres, Robyn Hitchcock, Lupen Crook and many others. The album isn't willfully obtuse, but it is inventive and it is enjoyable. It's also thoroughly British and proud of its roots, as it should be.

Dodson and Fogg's website

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