The Southern Fold
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The Southern Fold

Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
22
The Southern Fold @ Cleere's Bar and Theatre

Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland

Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland

Aug
17
The Southern Fold @ Hackett's Bar Kilkenny

Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland

Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland

May
31
The Southern Fold @ Red Rooster festival

Rugby, England, United Kingdom

Rugby, England, United Kingdom

Apr
08
The Southern Fold @ Mick Murphy's

Naas, Leinster, Ireland

Naas, Leinster, Ireland

Mar
15
The Southern Fold @ Whelan's

Dublin 2, Leinster, Ireland

Dublin 2, Leinster, Ireland

Music

Press


"You May Like This"

The Southern Fold – Save Your Soul

Something gothic this way comes.

Hailing from the Deep South East, The Southern Fold duo of Kilkenny-based Emlyn Holden (top right) and Dubliner Laura Hand (top left) serve up a brooding take on Americana that would fit right in on a True Detective soundtrack.

The highly atmospheric black-and-white video by Frieda Freytag adds an ethereal, mysterious layer on top.

The album Bible Fear is released on October 31.

Nick says: Spread the gospel. - Broadsheet.ie


"Reviews By Declan Culliton"

The Southern Fold have been earning quite a reputation on the local live music circuit over the past eighteen months, well justified on the basis of this very impressive six track mini album.

The band is the brainchild of Kilkenny based singer songwriter Emlyn Holden and co-singer Laura Hand. They are joined by recent recruits Joe Maher (The Mariannes) on guitar and Frieda Freytag (Fox Owl Crow) on cello and piano. Recorded at Crossroads Recording in Kilkenny the album features four self writes by Holden, the most powerful being Romance in Morphine and Home From The War, together with two covers (Farther Along by Baxter/Stevens and Ledbetter’s Where Did You Sleep Last Night?).

The shared vocals and harmonies by Holden and Hand are the highlight of the album, no more so than on the aforementioned WWhere Did You Sleep Last Night?.

The Southern Fold are one of an endless number of bands mixing country, folk and blues at present. I get the impression, listening to this album, that they have the potential to make a much more lasting impression than most. Credit must also go to Lorita Preiano for the beautiful cover photograph on the album. - The G-man


"The Southern Fold – ‘A True Ascension From The Wayward Path’ EP"

The Southern Fold:

Emlyn Holden – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Bass
Laura Hand – Vocals
Joe Maher – Electric Guitar, EBow
Frieda Freytag – Cello, Piano

EP Track Listing: 1. Death Country 2. Romance in Morphine 3. Brand New Day 4. Home From The War 5. Not On My Side 6. Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

Alternative Folk and Country is how this band describes themselves. After listening to their debut EP for a while now I could easily add Americana and a sprinkling of Blues to the mix also. In its entirety it is a true folk and country depiction.

The six tracks are short stories that carry very experienced messages and lessons thanks to the articulate penmanship and synchronised velvet vocals of Emlyn and Laura. Their coming together was definitely an organic thing and you’ll feel this immediately when you hear the EP. Their poetic lyrical styles, self-expression and the imagery of the lyrics are what makes the EP stand up. Personal journeys, triumphs and trials, unrealised dreams and hopes, love lost and love found, it’s all in there. The raw and solid musical arrangements don’t overpower the dynamic of the two vocalists and what they’re offering us. The balance between the music and vocals is spot on and it’s a very well produced body of work. These tracks are credible enough to be on the soundtrack of any Cohen brothers or Tarantino film. I really appreciate this EP and it’s an impressive and authentic debut from them.

‘Death Country’ is about the paths you choose and that the decisions you make have consequences; the experience of this comes through in the vocals.
‘Romance in Morphine’ is a clever title. The melody of the song has a good pace and is almost lullaby-like, despite the painful subject matter.
‘Brand New Day’ is an upbeat positive take on self-belief; a reflective lyric and a good lesson.
‘Home From The War’ deals with the aftermath of a painful situation and how to move on, it has a sincere melody and the vocals amplify this sincerity as well.
‘Not On My Side’ airs feelings of regrets, opportunities missed and wasted time; an inventive change in the arrangement emphasises this.
‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night?’ has a serious underlying subject but the question and answer vocal format between Emlyn and Laura give this track a quirky edge. - MusicWand


"Welcome to Ireland, America"

Used to be a time you could tell where a band was from just by listening to the music. There wasn't a band in the UK who could make country sound country or in the US make trad folk sound trad folk. It wasn't the accent necessarily or the instrumentation or anything you could put your finger on, it just was. But somewhere, sometime, the barriers disappeared. All of a sudden Brits started sounding American and Americans started sounding Australian and Brazilians started sounding like they grew up in Boston or New York or maybe Nashville or Austin. Americana should not be allowed to be called Americana anymore, in fact, because Europe and Australia are playing it better than Americans at times.

I mention this because I have been listening to an Irish band calling themselves The Southern Fold and they sound no more Irish than does Stephen Young & The Union or The Minnows, both top-of-the-line outfits from the land of the shamrock, and it is not any kind of Irish music they are playing, though it is plenty enough original. And I wonder when everything changed.

I would assume it changed when the Internet took hold and maybe it was so gradual that you could not put a real date on it. I assume that the passing of music past borders digitally changed listening habits of us all and maybe we have not lost but are losing the old cultures. Like television chipped away at the drawling accents of Southerners in The States and probably did for many of the culture pockets around the world. I knew a guy who worked in Japan for three years and for a couple of years after coming back talked English with the slightest change in his enunciation.
Which meant that the first couple of times I heard A True Ascension From the Wayward Path, I found it lacking anything I could recognize as Irish or even British. In fact, had I heard it blind, I would have said The States without hesitation.

Six songs make my point, each one sounding more Kentucky or California than County Cork or County Donegal, starting with the straight-ahead “Death Country,” the acoustic guitar, Dylan-esque harmonica and basic male/female voices giving no clue as to origin. Which leads into a slower and even more basic “Romance in Morphine,” sounding a lot like something Australia's roots musician Bill Jackson might have written. Then into an upbeat but light “Brand New Day” and after that my favorite song on the mini-album/EP, “Home From the War,” the hook slow and emotional, the song full of meaning beyond just the lyrics, more Josh Ritter or Sam Morrow than anything else I can think of. “Not On My Side” floats over an acoustic guitar/strings road, reflective but somehow positive--- and then rain and thunder which magically fades into an old hymn. Capping it off is a primo cover of Leadbelly's “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” which you may know better as “In the Pines” because most people are too lazy to go beyond the obvious (which in this case is obviously not).

This is pretty much as good as anything America can come up with, so what the hell? Americana it is, and well worth hearing.

And the video above? To really understand the music you should watch and listen to it. There is a story behind the songs. More than one, actually. And they make all the difference. - No Depression


"Album Review The Southern Fold – A true Ascension From the Wayward Path"

Happy New Year. Before I get to the Best of 2016 blog posts, I wanted to post about the Southern Fold’s debut EP. This blog post has been a long time coming. I have had the mini album/E.P since October last year but haven’t got the chance to blog about it. Well now I am getting to correct that mistake.
I blogged about The Southern Fold in March 2016 before they had officially released any tracks. At that stage i featured a number of originals and covers that were featured on a radio show session. With the release of “A True Ascension from The Wayward Path” though I have something physical to write about. The self-released mini album (it’s longer than an EP by my definition) as we will call it, features six beautiful, haunting songs on themes of love , regret and loss.

Featuring the talents of of Emlyn Holden (Guitar, Vocals), Laura Hand (Vocals), Frieda Freytag (Cello & Piano), Joe Maher (Guitar) and Rob Campbell (Cello & Bass), the Southern Fold have with this release clearly set out their stall as true exponents of the alt-folk genre. This release though fleshes out that self-describes definition.

Opening with the melodic “Death Country”, led by the beautiful harmonising vocals of Emlyn and Laura, the song gradually builds with the addition of cello, sparse guitar and eerie harmonica to an infectious chorus where the voices come beautifully together.
I will abstain from trying to decipher the meaning of the title of the mini-album but there is clear careful emphasis on words in this release. I’m sure every artist considers the words they use carefully but what I mean is that after listening to “Romance in Morphine” a couple of times is that the lyrics, I feel, are designed to take multiple meaning from them. The song with it’s flowing melody of guitar and piano feels like a post-modern murder ballad. It’s everything in this song bar the murder but it feels just as haunting.
The songs on the EP does seem to move between two styles, one defined by melody like “Death Country” and “Brand New Day” and the seeped in atmosphere like “Romance in Morphine” and “Not on My Side/Farther Along”. As someone that is always drawn to melody much more quicker than twords, I fell into the melodic warm sound of “Brand New Day” quite quickly. With a foot-tapin’ guitar led harmony the song is made for enjoying on a sun drenched day.

In a way I am not surprised that the band choose to cover the american folk song “Where did you sleep last night” made famous by a Nirvava cover in 1994. If there ever was a band made for reciting murder ballads, it is the Southern Fold. The band manage to make the words even more more haunting with their simple arrangement and the sombre sounds of the cello haunting the song.

“A True Ascension from the Wayward Path” is a record that sets out the manifesto of the Southern Fold. If you are looking for some haunting, shimmering alt-folk/ americana you have come to the right place. It’s easy to hear that the band have a clearly defined sound and know the music they want to make. While respecting and acknowledging the artists of the past, this E.P. establishes The Southern Fold as a a group who are contributing and innovating a genre that deserves more attention from the wider world. An excellent release with some fine craft in songwriting and arrangement - Eircana


Discography

A True Ascension from the Wayward Path  

Self-Released EP - April 2016

1. Death Country
2. Romance in Morphine
3. Brand New Day
4. Home From The War
5. Not on my Side / Farther Along
6. Where Did You Sleep Last Night

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Save Your Soul  

Self Released Single - October 2019

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Bible Fear

Full length Album - due 31st October 2019

  1. Hold Back the Sun
  2. Blood of Life
  3. Save Your Soul
  4. Sunday Best
  5. Jesus Christ & the Holy Ghost (Not taken in Vain)
  6. Set Yourself on Fire with Love
  7. Dead (Un)Forgiven
  8. Mercy & Sin
  9. Run On (For a Long Time)
  10. No-one is my Name
  11. The Devil in Me
  12. Bible Fear
  13. God is a Ghost

Photos

Bio

"THEY CITE Hank Williams and Kurt Cobain as their inspirations, and they seek to communicate messages of truth and honesty through harmony singing and the craft of songwriting in its simplest, purist, form."

- Kernan Andrews, Galway Advertiser

Formed by Kilkenny native Emlyn Holden in 2014, and joined by Dubliner Laura Hand as co-vocalist the following year, The Southern Fold began gigging in earnest mainly in the Leinster area performing a number of self penned songs in the alt folk & country/blues vein.

With their debut EP, ‘A True Ascension from the Wayward Path’, released on April 28th, 2016, and Frieda Freytag (Fox Owl Crow, Dave Couse) on cello and piano, Joe Maher (The Mariannes) on guitar, and Rob Campbell (Pine the Pilcrow) on cello and bass brought on board to help broaden their sound and introduce more dynamics to the songs, the band have been busy spreading their sound on the Irish gig circuit.

2018/19 saw them play a number of dates including a couple of YouBloom gigs (Dublin's Phoenix Park & the Mercantile), a slot at Vantastival and an upcoming show at the Rollercoaster Stage at BARE Festival. They also made it through to the final of the Nova Discovered competition in June 2018. They supported Micah P. Hinson in Whelan's, Dublin, played the legendary BAG (Ballymore Acoustic Gigs) and Kilkenny Arts Festival plus their first UK gig at the Red Rooster Festival.

A successful Fundit campaign during the Autumn of '18 allowed the band (with new expanded lineup) to get back to the studio and record a full length album entitled 'Bible Fear'. The first single, 'Save Your Soul', was released on 8th October 2019 and will be followed by the album on Hallowe'en 31st October 2019.

"Sounding a lot like something Australia's roots musician Bill Jackson might have written... This is pretty much as good as anything America can come up with... well worth hearing."
- Frank Gutch Jr. - No Depression

“With some deft touches in songwriting and arrangements, the Southern Fold are a new prospect on the alt‐folk scene here. Ones to keep an eye on.”

- Eirecana

The Southern Fold 2019

Band Members