United Bible Studies The Ale's What Cures Ye
Published Mar 25, 2016The unrecognized royalty of the Irish experimental folk sub-underground, United Bible Studies bubbled to the surface in the early 2000s, at around the same time as a spate of limited-run CD-R imprints began appearing across the Western musical landscape. The band's signature, anachronistic take on a seemingly ancient song-form sat perfectly alongside the much-touted free-folk scene that defined that time period; as such, UBS releases arrived from the likes of the Foxglove, Barl Fire and Ruralfaune micro-labels. With a fiery DIY spirit, the group often released music under their own Deserted Village banner, and they have continued to amass a steady volume of work to this very day.
The Ale's What Cures Ye is subtitled "Traditional Folk Songs from the British Isles" and finds the Irish collective interpreting a number of oft-performed tunes, each of which carries a distinct emotional and musical tone. The pieces appear to have been recorded in cities, villages and across the English countryside, with a handful of tracks laid to tape in a smuggler's cave in Dorset. This shifting sense of locale lends an even more pastoral atmosphere to the music. One can't help but have an appreciation for these timeless ditties, and for the way that United Bible Studies have respectfully modernized the folk form, like putting a fresh coat of paint on a quaint cottage nestled in a country grove. (MIE)