ahab – Kmvt

Following the release of their 2009 debut CD a.h.a.b. the duo of Callum Adamson (son of Skids/Big Country’s Stuart) and Dave Burn were invited to play the annual ‘Fanfare’ Festival in Nashville. Recruiting for the event musicians Seebs Llewellyn and Luke Price, the week long residency at the famous ‘Tootsies Orchid Lounge’ during Nashville’s Country Music Awards week festival was so successful, playing twice a day to packed houses and receiving an invitation to record at Warner Studios in Nashville that they decided to make the band and line-up permanent.

Back in London they took a year writing new material before unveiling it through two months of busking, the stir and following they generated by that leading them to being warned by the Police to stop performing around the local markets of East London due to the crowds they drew blocking the streets. 2010 saw them invited to play Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival in front of 15,000 and from that a recorded session for the Bob Harris BBC2 radio show. ahab next recorded a 5 track EP of self-penned songs at London’s Snap Studios which Bob Harris offered to host the launch party for at the BBC Club.

Legendary producer John Leckie ( XTC, The Fall, Radiohead, Stone Roses…) already a fan after attending one of their early shows offered to record ‘Lucy’ a download only single. Early 2011 saw the band on their first national tour to promote the single and now there is the release of Kmvt with the returning Leckie again at the controls. With a tour supporting leading folk big-band Bellowhead in November the rise of the quartet is distinctly gaining momentum and strength and the new EP gives good evidence and credence as to why.

The songs within the EP are a great mix of music and sounds that is unassuming and mesmeric, the four part harmonies and strong uplifting essence that permeates each note impossible to not feel warmth for. Opening track ‘Wish You’ starts it all off with an upbeat and up lifting track, finding peace in an emotional set back. The flowing harmonies, beckoning rhythms, and playful guitars bring a smart and engaging country rock/Americana sound that thrills and engages.

Lightnin’ Bug’ brings a bustling country sound, putting the listener in the fields of Nashville mentally and emotionally. This is followed by the folk charms of ‘Docker’s Hands’, again it carries a thriving beat and liveliness even though it begins as a ballad of sorts. The vocals are eager and attentive to the lyrics and the ear whilst the music caresses with glee.

Next there is the rousing and animated joys of the EP’s best track ‘Call A Waiter’. Bouncing on an enthused beat and a deep delicious bass sound the song leaps greedily and welcomingly into the ear and before long one finds fingers clicking and feet tapping uncontrollably. The blend of country rock and folk sounds surprising and alien but extremely agreeable to one who has nightmares at the term country music.

The emotive ‘Where’s The One You Love’ with more wonderfully easy and pleasing harmonies closes off an EP that is a pleasure and energiser for the senses.  Kmvt easily and completely reveals why the band is on such an upward and fast moving ascent, and with their album due out next year the following twelve months could and should find ahab the name on the lips of most fans of quality melodic music.

RingMaster 03/10/2011

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