The Mariner's Children
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The Mariner's Children

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"Review: The Mariner's Children - Sycamore EP"

The Mariner's Children have some new material. For some this sentence might not mean much, but I can only pray that one day it will. For a 7 piece band with the back catalogue of experience possessed by these guys to not have exploded and drown in a sea of ‘you aren’t cool anymore everyone likes you’ is nothing short of a miracle. Is it selfish to wish someone to keep their understated genius to a modest circle of folk fans who know exactly what they are talking about? I think it may be and so I am going to share with you what I believe to be the next big thing littering 2014’s best festival stages. The guys are already on a nationwide tour with the one and only Willy Mason, finishing off with a headline show at the infamous up and comer venue The Lexington in London.

What makes this particular folk band so special you ask? It lies, I believe in a tiny slice of the pie that Mumford & Sons have served the world over; folk with sexy, determined rhythm. Their jaunty beats have forever been the backbone of what could be an airy and vague breed of folk. Flawless use of percussion however guts this up, to a foot stomping, addictive and beautifully strong sound.

Benedict’s voice is like the creak of breaking branches in a dark wood, barely there and whispering, joined by its sweet female counterpart a hummingbird floating in the melancholy breeze that surrounds each song. Perfectly harmonised and subtle with lyrics straight from a book of Byron poetry these guys know precisely what they are doing.

Their new EP Sycamore, with the first track of the same name and 3 other beauties, ‘Wolves Within the Woods’, ‘In My Bed’ and ‘Bridges’ throws us in head first with the gutsy folk I was talking about, with and air of bluegrass and balls, then gently floats us down a stream of violin strings and accordion parts so subtle and clever you will wonder where they have been all your life. - Folk Geek


"Review: The Mariner's Children - Sycamore EP"

The Mariner's Children have some new material. For some this sentence might not mean much, but I can only pray that one day it will. For a 7 piece band with the back catalogue of experience possessed by these guys to not have exploded and drown in a sea of ‘you aren’t cool anymore everyone likes you’ is nothing short of a miracle. Is it selfish to wish someone to keep their understated genius to a modest circle of folk fans who know exactly what they are talking about? I think it may be and so I am going to share with you what I believe to be the next big thing littering 2014’s best festival stages. The guys are already on a nationwide tour with the one and only Willy Mason, finishing off with a headline show at the infamous up and comer venue The Lexington in London.

What makes this particular folk band so special you ask? It lies, I believe in a tiny slice of the pie that Mumford & Sons have served the world over; folk with sexy, determined rhythm. Their jaunty beats have forever been the backbone of what could be an airy and vague breed of folk. Flawless use of percussion however guts this up, to a foot stomping, addictive and beautifully strong sound.

Benedict’s voice is like the creak of breaking branches in a dark wood, barely there and whispering, joined by its sweet female counterpart a hummingbird floating in the melancholy breeze that surrounds each song. Perfectly harmonised and subtle with lyrics straight from a book of Byron poetry these guys know precisely what they are doing.

Their new EP Sycamore, with the first track of the same name and 3 other beauties, ‘Wolves Within the Woods’, ‘In My Bed’ and ‘Bridges’ throws us in head first with the gutsy folk I was talking about, with and air of bluegrass and balls, then gently floats us down a stream of violin strings and accordion parts so subtle and clever you will wonder where they have been all your life. - Folk Geek


"Setting The Stage For America: The Mariner's Children"

Far from being the soggy offspring of an aging seafarer, U.K. seven-piece The Mariner’s Children presents a deliciously and decidedly earth-bound proposal to its listeners. Banjos, guitars, violins and creaking, guttural harmonies converge in a great maelstrom of building, driving songs, which careen from moments of delicate beauty to those of furious abandon.

The Brighton outfit’s new EP, Sycamore, was released in February to widespread acclaim, charming listeners from Q and NME with the band’s soaring vocals, complex lyrics and fiery, folk-tempered zeal. The Guardian dubbed them “purveyors of lovingly crafted music, with anthemic uplift and widescreen ambition,” with the release’s excellent reception leading them to be personally chosen by American bluester Willy Mason as support at his KOKO London show earlier this year. Current plans promise a full-length album by this coming fall and the rumblings of a U.S. tour. - The Bomber Jacket


"Setting The Stage For America: The Mariner's Children"

Far from being the soggy offspring of an aging seafarer, U.K. seven-piece The Mariner’s Children presents a deliciously and decidedly earth-bound proposal to its listeners. Banjos, guitars, violins and creaking, guttural harmonies converge in a great maelstrom of building, driving songs, which careen from moments of delicate beauty to those of furious abandon.

The Brighton outfit’s new EP, Sycamore, was released in February to widespread acclaim, charming listeners from Q and NME with the band’s soaring vocals, complex lyrics and fiery, folk-tempered zeal. The Guardian dubbed them “purveyors of lovingly crafted music, with anthemic uplift and widescreen ambition,” with the release’s excellent reception leading them to be personally chosen by American bluester Willy Mason as support at his KOKO London show earlier this year. Current plans promise a full-length album by this coming fall and the rumblings of a U.S. tour. - The Bomber Jacket


"50 Essential Tracks to Download"

About "Coal":

"Simply astonishing. They're a new band from Brighton and to come out of the traps with something as exhilarating and devastating as Coal is a hot poker up the ass for us all. When I think back to the shite I was writing at their stage (some would argue that period is still ongoing), I can only wince in embarrassment and bow down in praise of their callow greatness. Coal's central mantra, "There's no more coal for the fire, my love, but I'd gladly burn myself", is one that could whiff of sarcasm if not sung with the same intensity and passion as Benedict Rubinstein gives it and with his gutsy delivery one is left pretty shaken by the song's end. It is a thrilling journey from the intro's feather-touched acoustic strings to the end's raucous choir of rattling guitars and full-throated voices. It's a journey I've taken every day for weeks now and don't see myself tiring of anytime soon. Mighty!"?

- Gary Lightbody, Snow Patrol - Q Magazine (article by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol)


"50 Essential Tracks to Download"

About "Coal":

"Simply astonishing. They're a new band from Brighton and to come out of the traps with something as exhilarating and devastating as Coal is a hot poker up the ass for us all. When I think back to the shite I was writing at their stage (some would argue that period is still ongoing), I can only wince in embarrassment and bow down in praise of their callow greatness. Coal's central mantra, "There's no more coal for the fire, my love, but I'd gladly burn myself", is one that could whiff of sarcasm if not sung with the same intensity and passion as Benedict Rubinstein gives it and with his gutsy delivery one is left pretty shaken by the song's end. It is a thrilling journey from the intro's feather-touched acoustic strings to the end's raucous choir of rattling guitars and full-throated voices. It's a journey I've taken every day for weeks now and don't see myself tiring of anytime soon. Mighty!"?

- Gary Lightbody, Snow Patrol - Q Magazine (article by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol)


"NEW BAND OF THE DAY: The Mariner's Children"

Home: Brighton, Norfolk, London.

The lineup: Benedict Rubinstein (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, autoharp), Daniel Matthews (guitar, piano, accordion, glockenspiel, vocals), Becca Mears (cello), Emma Kraemer (violin), Emma Gatrill (vocals), Marcus Hamblett (double bass, vocals), Felix Weldon (drums).

The background: The Mariner's Children are a folk-rock band with a produced, modern feel. If time were short and you wanted a pull-quote at the start, we'd say they were like a cross between Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire, with the cosy familiarity of the former and some of the epic intensity of the latter. Some of their faster, more rousing numbers make us think of the Waterboys circa Fisherman's Blues and tracks such as We Will Not Be Lovers, which showed pretty effectively what a British postpunk band approximating Bob Dylan's famed "wild mercury sound" might sound like. It Carved Your Name Into the Ground, the lead song on the Mariner's Children's forthcoming debut EP, New Moore Island – named after a small territory that caused a dispute between India and Bangladesh, because they are nothing if not thoughtful types – has the same stirring sense of a bunch of players buzzing off each other's performances and willing each other on to new heights. Eventually they create something – using accordions, mandolins, harps, guitars and drums – with the visceral attack of rock and the rhythmic propulsion and thrilling momentum of dance.

It Carved ... isn't the lead song on the EP, or at least it isn't the one that opens proceedings, but it is the one we like best and that best shows where we'd like them to end up: as purveyors of lovingly crafted music with anthemic uplift and widescreen ambition. Then again, we're listening to that first track now – Coal – and we can hear a similar swelling energy as the music moves from folkish intimacy towards a more dynamic spaciousness. It seems they share our own vision: they've been recording at 2kHz Studios, a converted church in London, with producer Ian Grimble, who has worked with the Manic Street Preachers and McAlmont & Butler, and so clearly the intention is to elevate them beyond the status of worshipful archivists of ancient traditions. Their lineup, according to their MySpace page, includes a calligrapher and elephant wood engraver – and the Mariner's Children do have an artsy, boho Brighton craft-fair feel to them, a grainy woodiness you can touch. But you don't for a moment sense that they intend to remain a local, insular concern. The band that began as Bert Jansch and Pentangle fans and grew and grew as more and more members from across southern England joined, and who fashion their epic songs of wonder and wanderlust via email, now potentially have a whole world of room in which to roam.

The buzz: "There is so much greatness packed into this band ... A huge, warm, can't-tear-your-ears-away sound. They will become a very popular band" – Suitcase Orchestra.

The truth: The Mumford/Noah/Marling mafia may have to make way for a fourth member.

Most likely to: Earn their peers' respect.

Least likely to: Earn much money – what, with all those members?

What to buy: The New Moore Island EP is released by Broken Sound Music on 1 November.

File next to: Waterboys, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, Broken Records. - The Guardian


"NEW BAND OF THE DAY: The Mariner's Children"

Home: Brighton, Norfolk, London.

The lineup: Benedict Rubinstein (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, autoharp), Daniel Matthews (guitar, piano, accordion, glockenspiel, vocals), Becca Mears (cello), Emma Kraemer (violin), Emma Gatrill (vocals), Marcus Hamblett (double bass, vocals), Felix Weldon (drums).

The background: The Mariner's Children are a folk-rock band with a produced, modern feel. If time were short and you wanted a pull-quote at the start, we'd say they were like a cross between Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire, with the cosy familiarity of the former and some of the epic intensity of the latter. Some of their faster, more rousing numbers make us think of the Waterboys circa Fisherman's Blues and tracks such as We Will Not Be Lovers, which showed pretty effectively what a British postpunk band approximating Bob Dylan's famed "wild mercury sound" might sound like. It Carved Your Name Into the Ground, the lead song on the Mariner's Children's forthcoming debut EP, New Moore Island – named after a small territory that caused a dispute between India and Bangladesh, because they are nothing if not thoughtful types – has the same stirring sense of a bunch of players buzzing off each other's performances and willing each other on to new heights. Eventually they create something – using accordions, mandolins, harps, guitars and drums – with the visceral attack of rock and the rhythmic propulsion and thrilling momentum of dance.

It Carved ... isn't the lead song on the EP, or at least it isn't the one that opens proceedings, but it is the one we like best and that best shows where we'd like them to end up: as purveyors of lovingly crafted music with anthemic uplift and widescreen ambition. Then again, we're listening to that first track now – Coal – and we can hear a similar swelling energy as the music moves from folkish intimacy towards a more dynamic spaciousness. It seems they share our own vision: they've been recording at 2kHz Studios, a converted church in London, with producer Ian Grimble, who has worked with the Manic Street Preachers and McAlmont & Butler, and so clearly the intention is to elevate them beyond the status of worshipful archivists of ancient traditions. Their lineup, according to their MySpace page, includes a calligrapher and elephant wood engraver – and the Mariner's Children do have an artsy, boho Brighton craft-fair feel to them, a grainy woodiness you can touch. But you don't for a moment sense that they intend to remain a local, insular concern. The band that began as Bert Jansch and Pentangle fans and grew and grew as more and more members from across southern England joined, and who fashion their epic songs of wonder and wanderlust via email, now potentially have a whole world of room in which to roam.

The buzz: "There is so much greatness packed into this band ... A huge, warm, can't-tear-your-ears-away sound. They will become a very popular band" – Suitcase Orchestra.

The truth: The Mumford/Noah/Marling mafia may have to make way for a fourth member.

Most likely to: Earn their peers' respect.

Least likely to: Earn much money – what, with all those members?

What to buy: The New Moore Island EP is released by Broken Sound Music on 1 November.

File next to: Waterboys, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, Broken Records. - The Guardian


"The Mariner's Children - New Moore Island"

Whether it’s the frenetic, orchestral romp that peaks in the middle or the self-titled instrumental that comes next, New Moore Island displays an exquisite execution for each of its near-19 minutes of playing time. The only downside to this debut for The Mariner’s Children is that it sets an impossibly high level of expectations of any future endeavors. Then again, that’s like describing your weaknesses in a job interview as, “Sometimes I work too hard.”

Given its first few strums and snare hits, New Moore Island didn’t seem like it was headed toward in such a delicious direction. The early harmonies, the yelps and hollers, and a slightly arrhythmic feel gave the aforementioned romp, ‘It Carved Your Name Into The Ground,’ a chaotic front porch feel. It almost comes off as a band of friends found a cabin full of instruments and, armed with alcoholic accoutrements, had themselves a rousingly good time.

Future listens, however, dispel such ridiculous notions. Given its context amidst some of the most beautifully delicate measures released this year (more in a moment), ‘It Carved Your Name Into The Ground’ establishes a musical bookend for this seven-piece and keeps New Moore Island from becoming too morbid an affair.

Only five songs comprise the EP, but the disc is a rather hearty listen for such a short running time. ‘Drunken Heart’ thunders forward with a fantastic orchestral movement and a full-scale approach a la Anathallo. Here, the male/female vocal approach works wonders alongside the heavy-handed instrumentation, and by the end, the song sounds straight out of a cinematic credits roll.

‘Coal’ meets the listener with moody strings and haunting harmonies over lines like “There’s no more coal for the fire my love / But I’ll gladly burn myself.” It’s the album’s highlight track and sets an emotional intensity early that waxes and wanes but never dispels. Meanwhile, ‘Golden Pine’ maintains the feel of a light, acoustic feather, betraying lines of a lover who’s left.

The Mariner’s Children has its work cut out given the oversaturated digital market, but great music eventually rises to the surface so there’s hope yet for they attention they deserve. New Moore Island is an intimate, poignant release that’s impressive in every way. - The Line Of Best Fit


"The Mariner's Children - New Moore Island"

Whether it’s the frenetic, orchestral romp that peaks in the middle or the self-titled instrumental that comes next, New Moore Island displays an exquisite execution for each of its near-19 minutes of playing time. The only downside to this debut for The Mariner’s Children is that it sets an impossibly high level of expectations of any future endeavors. Then again, that’s like describing your weaknesses in a job interview as, “Sometimes I work too hard.”

Given its first few strums and snare hits, New Moore Island didn’t seem like it was headed toward in such a delicious direction. The early harmonies, the yelps and hollers, and a slightly arrhythmic feel gave the aforementioned romp, ‘It Carved Your Name Into The Ground,’ a chaotic front porch feel. It almost comes off as a band of friends found a cabin full of instruments and, armed with alcoholic accoutrements, had themselves a rousingly good time.

Future listens, however, dispel such ridiculous notions. Given its context amidst some of the most beautifully delicate measures released this year (more in a moment), ‘It Carved Your Name Into The Ground’ establishes a musical bookend for this seven-piece and keeps New Moore Island from becoming too morbid an affair.

Only five songs comprise the EP, but the disc is a rather hearty listen for such a short running time. ‘Drunken Heart’ thunders forward with a fantastic orchestral movement and a full-scale approach a la Anathallo. Here, the male/female vocal approach works wonders alongside the heavy-handed instrumentation, and by the end, the song sounds straight out of a cinematic credits roll.

‘Coal’ meets the listener with moody strings and haunting harmonies over lines like “There’s no more coal for the fire my love / But I’ll gladly burn myself.” It’s the album’s highlight track and sets an emotional intensity early that waxes and wanes but never dispels. Meanwhile, ‘Golden Pine’ maintains the feel of a light, acoustic feather, betraying lines of a lover who’s left.

The Mariner’s Children has its work cut out given the oversaturated digital market, but great music eventually rises to the surface so there’s hope yet for they attention they deserve. New Moore Island is an intimate, poignant release that’s impressive in every way. - The Line Of Best Fit


Discography

Sycamore EP - released via Broken Sound Music/PIAS (2013)

New Moore Island EP - released via Broken Sound Music/PIAS (2010)

Both EPs received critical acclaim and praise from the likes of NME, The Guardian, The Line Of Best Fit, Q Magazine, The Fly, and a multitude of others.

Unreleased debut album completed and expected release date in February 2014.

Photos

Bio

With colliding guitar duels and soaring strings, The Mariner's Children make a type of music that is cinematic, pastoral, and entirely their own. Described by The Guardian as creators of something with "the visceral attack of rock and the rhythmic propulsion and thrilling momentum of dance", their songs build from the sparse, delicate understatement of the likes of Iron & Wine and Pentangle into huge, encompassing Arcade Fire-like walls of sound, providing the perfect foil to the troubled romanticism of Rubinstein's lyrics. As an ensemble of multi-instrumentalists, they have formerly lent their individual talents to such acts as Laura Marling, Alessi's Ark, Broken Social Scene, and Peggy Sue, but the group are now poised to make their collective mark with their own project.

Whilst this year has already seen them tour the UK and Ireland extensively with American troubadour Willy Mason, the band will be hitting the road again in November with Bear's Den (Communion) fresh off their breakout US tour. Following on from two critically-acclaimed EPs, early 2014 will see the release of The Mariner's Children's much-anticipated debut album, "Over My Body, Roses They Rise". Shortly thereafter, the band is set to embark on their inaugural North American tour.

"The Mariner's Children roar with the hot-headed intensity of Arcade Fire, made brittle with tumultuous rage and regret."
- NME

"Simply astonishing...exhilarating and devastating...a thrilling journey."
- Q Magazine

"Sets an impossibly high level of expectations of any future endeavors...an intimate, poignant release that's impressive in every way."
- The Line Of Best Fit