Effra Parade, the first full-length album from the Melodic, begins with what at first sounds like a squeal of feedback, but two seconds later it reveals itself as a sustained note from a melodica that kicks off a spare, minor-key melody leading into the album's first song, "On My Way. " This is as close to a rock & roll moment as Effra Parade has to offer; while the Melodics are tangentially part of the same folk-leaning U. K.
“Roots are not something you lay/but something you take on your way,” go the opening lyrics of “Hard to Find” on the Brixton UK folk group’s debut. And true to those words, this is an eclectic foray into acoustic music that makes world beat stops in Afro pop, reggae, dub, South American and even a bit of their home turf’s traditional folk music. To help the process, the multi-instrumentalist five piece invites over a dozen extra musicians who bring their talents on instruments as horns, flute, cello, oboe and viola among many others to the process.
It’s been postulated that good art comes out of conflict and intense emotional states. Plato’s Republic wanted to control musicians, after all, because he knew how much we as humans love irrational and irresponsible sounds, little songs about heartbreak, war, and generally screwing up our life only to reclaim each little piece. Even Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson, pop’s representatives of the chill-to-the-point-of-boring, have had wonderful, heavier tracks like If I Had Eyes, a rumination on unchangeable romantic failure, and Crash Into Me, one of the best displays of obsession ever penned.
Over the last decade a whole wave of nu-folk acts have gone through various stages of hype, respect and style. The originators of anti-folk, the likes of Jeffrey Lewis and Diane Cluck who began much earlier than your Marlings and Mumfords, took the folk of the sixties and truly subverted the earnestness of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and their contemporaries before Noah and the Whale, Laura Marling and Mumford and Sons began to take a hold in the mid to late-2000s. The two former artists have progressed massively from the point of their “5 Years Time” twee explosion, with Marling continuing to out-do herself and become the poster girl for the singer-songwriter with her intelligent, beautiful albums.