Nineteen-year-old Ed Tullett's assured and disarmingly original debut album Never Joy (December 4, Equal Vision) is one more stunning example of the remarkably innovative music coming out of the current British acoustic neo-folk scene. Drawing on the glistening guitar work from the likes of Alexi Murdoch and U.K. folk pioneer John Martyn, Tullett adds an ethereal atmosphere with snaking, unpredictable melodies, odd time signatures and a distinct vocal style that often combines an eerie and airy falsetto in harmony with a lower register. No surprise that Tullett submitted a winning remix entry in Bon Iver's recent Stem Project, the Brighton-based performer brings that adventurous attitude to his own sophisticated compositions. This is the kind of album that makes you rethink exactly what "folk" music really is and just how far boundaries can be expanded. The mesmerizing "Mezzanine" and gorgeously moody "Faker Death" just scratch the surface of one of the most intriguing and accomplished debuts of 2012.
Ed Tullett - "Mezzanine" (from Never Joy)
Ed Tullett - "Faker Death" (from Never Joy)