The Prickle (@ThePrickle) October 06, 2014
The Devil Makes Three is a tricksy, enchanted record by formidable folk duo Twelfth Day.
Catriona Price and Esther Swift, their voices and instruments (fiddle and harp respectively) come together in a way that evokes a timeless heritage informed by technical proficiency and bags of character. The 10 original compositions on their new album speak to a tradition that summons story-telling, jigging and musical dedication of the ancestors — but it is all at once made new in their performance. This compelling blend of tradition with a twist is never truer than on track Young Sir; a tale of border-jumping that would not be out of place in a Burns poem with the added flourish of a sports car (it has a cracking video to boot).
Throughout the album, Twelfth Day wind an almost hypnotic route through wistful folk songs and celtic soundscapes all the time underscored by a fantastic array of stylistic combinations of the fiddle and harp. The sound is lush and raw, authentic and fresh.
For anyone tempted to consign folk music to dwindling communities who huddle around the embers of a dying tradition, I would do no more than to allow the playful flames of Twelfth Day flicker against their ears for the duration of this album. It is a triumph and a treasure.