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Reviewed by Sophie Mashlan

Reb Fountain: Little Arrows

Reviewed by Sophie Mashlan

Reb Fountain: Little Arrows

This 10-track album features a solid collection of gracefully written and arranged songs. The insistent drums introducing opener Down In The Valley are counterpointed by Reb Fountain ’s lazily rich vocals and the sweeping violin of Sam Prebble.

A tangible artistic confidence is evident in her varied vocal delivery over the consistent instrumentation of guitar, fiddle, drums and upright bass, the occasional ornament of mandolin decorating a couple of tracks.

The processing of instruments also helps create interest, the delay effect on the fiddle in Five Hundred Miles being a good example.

Released just months after her 5-track EP, ‘Hopeful/Hopeless’, this is a much more personal beast. Fountain has recorded a collection of songs that showcase her lyrical prowess and vocal range in a seemingly effortless manner.

Back to back tracks Slave and Together illustrate this, utilising opposite ends of her vocal spectrum.

Recorded and produced by Simon Gooding, the album has evidently been waiting around for six years.

Sure it’s of the timeless ‘folk’ genre, but still you couldn’t tell this is not freshly recorded in 2017.

The instrumentation shows the influence of traditional folk, not only through the instruments used but in the characteristics of their performance, such as imitation of the main vocal line.

The pace ranges from soft and intimate in Annie V to catchy, faster tracks like Together and Heart Of Me.

This delight-full, somehow unassuming album makes it easy to understand why Reb Fountain is one of NZ’s pre-eminent folk artists. 

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