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Review: 'Marshes'
'When The Lights Are Bright'   

-  Label: 'Endearingly Ramshackle'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '7th June 2019'

Our Rating:
Marshes is the solo vehicle of cellist Beth Porter, who’s played with a host of UK folk luminaries as well as her own Red Carousel String Quartet.

‘When The Lights Are Bright’ was recorded before her daughter Molly (now two) was born, and was funded by Indiegogo campaign prior to signing to Endearingly Ramshackle.

It’s an incredibly personal set of songs, which touch on mental health, anxiety, fear, and isolation. So while it exhibits many conventional folk stylings, it’s very much an album of the now.

Are mental health issues a uniquely post-millennial phenomenon? Certainly not, although post-millennial society and culture and the demands it makes on us has almost certainly rendered them more prevalent. Unfortunately, we’re about 30 years behind in recognising the effects of those demands, and even further behind in making conversation about and addressing them.

There’s elegance and grace, but brooding and drama in the string-driven songs, and Beth’s voice is rich with emotion. ‘I’m shaking but I’m talking fine / My hearts racing but I’m talking fine’ she sings on ‘Rear View’, so neatly encapsulating the invisibility of anxiety. It’s lines like this, paired with Porter’s thoughtful arrangements, which make this such an appealing album.
  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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Marshes - When The Lights Are Bright