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One of the most inventive and acclaimed performers of England’s current folk music renaissance, singer and multi-instrumentalist Bill (short for "Belinda") Jones has a distinct knack for breaking traditional music down to its core elements, then reassembling it to fit her own individual vision. Blending timeless balladry with hints of jazz and contemporary pop, Jones’ previous two albums (Turn to Me and Panchpuran, both available on Compass) established her as the boldest new voice to emerge from the UK in some time and won her the coveted Horizon Award for Best New Artist at BBC Radio 2’s annual Folk Music Awards.
Two Year Winter is the next step forward, bringing the adventurous impulses of Panchpuran into sharper focus, yet retaining the accessible immediacy of her debut. Jones’ own songwriting has grown richer and increasingly detailed, while collaborations with American singer/songwriter Anne Hills are achingly poetic laments given urgency by Jones’ unadorned, visceral vocals. The instrumental palette is equally luscious, ranging from sparse a cappella interludes to jazz-inflected flugelhorn intermingling with classic fiddle, accordion, and recorder strains.
By turns stark, haunting, elegant, and playful, Two Year Winter finds Jones freshly energized by two years of constant touring throughout the US, UK, Japan, Denmark, and Belgium. The result is stunning, beguiling music that resonates with timeless echoes while expanding the boundaries of traditional music.
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