GypsyFingers – Circus Life

GypsyFingers – Circus Life

The name of the band is GypsyFingers. And they are Victoria Coghlan and Luke Oldfield. The name of the record is Circus Life. And some three months after first being unveiled, the duo’s début album is now about to be re-released.

Circus Life’s opener ‘This Is The Way’ is deceptive. With Coghlan’s girlish voice wavering between that of Audrey Hepburn’s Cockney flower seller in My Fair Lady and Lily Allen, the jaunty spring in the song’s step is skewered to the rhythm and motion of bright, breezy, catchy pop. It is not until second song ‘Circus Elephant’ unfolds that you begin to realise that the record is something wholly different altogether.

Coghlan’s voice is by now that of a crystal clear, quintessentially English folk singer. Swathed in warm layers of brass and Spanish guitar and looking through the eyes of its titular hero, the song speaks of another life in another world. This is the world in which Circus Life exists; an idealistic, idyllic passing show in which dreams and reality often collide.

GypsyFingers’ sound has as its cornerstone folk music, fusing this traditional foundation with elements of Romani, rap (on ‘You’), the baroque and pop. It moves swiftly along a continuum that loosely connects the late 1960’s folk pioneers Pentangle with the more modern ambition of a Beth Orton or Devendra Banhart.

It is a record with a freewheeling spirit, full of gentle persuasion and wonder. Oldfield’s glistening guitar on the album’s first single ‘Eating Me’ brings to mind some of his father’s work on the first side of Tubular Bells, the 1973 record that first launched the Virgin empire. With its choral refrain, chiming guitar and Coghlan’s sing-speak voice the penultimate ‘Lately’ delicately fuses together all of Circus Life’s core musical components. And on the concluding song ‘The Island’, Coghlan and Oldfield’s dual vision merges into one lovely soft widescreen focus.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Circus Life is released on 25th August 2014


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