… with its superior story-telling and well-crafted arrangements. This is one of the strongest debuts of the year so far…” 

Milton Hide emerged out of the East Sussex open mic and folk club circuit five years ago, where the acoustic duo picked up many plaudits for their debut EP, ‘Little Fish’, released in 2018. Now husband and wife duo, Jim and Josie Tipler, are set to release their first full-length album where all the songs on the album are self-penned originals that Milton Hide have performed live over the past few years.

This is the debut full length album from the husband-and-wife duo from East Sussex, named after some woodland near their home. Jim and Josie Tipler have built up an impressive network of artists both from sharing a stage during live gigs, and from putting on their own Bluebell Roots house gigs, and there’s a fair few of them appearing here. You wouldn’t have guessed that Covid restrictions led to the various artists recording remotely and then passing their parts on to producer John Fowler to put together. He has done so seamlessly, building up the songs in a way that highlights each one perfectly, whether they be performed by just the duo, or whether they have more of a full band sound to them.

The title of the album and the first track are well named, taking in both climate change and the rising anger and protests taking up the news cycles. The title track was born from the first women’s march after Trump’s inauguration, and the marches against Brexit in this country. Elsewhere we have songs inspired by the menopause and mid-life crises, the theory of Spacetime, and the true story of Sergeant Paul Meyer USAF who borrowed a C130 transport plane to fly from the UK to Virginia to see his newly wed wife (though sadly he would crash into the English Channel, with his body never being recovered).

Pick of the album though is the incredible Riding The Whale. Inspired by Jim’s memories of playing on the beach with his father, it’s an achingly gorgeous track, and certainly one of the best I’ve heard so far this year. Another highlight is The Ghosts of Milton Hide, a gothic fairy tale about the dangers of wandering the woods after dark. It feels like it should have a music video directed by Tim Burton to go with it.

Hopefully releasing Temperature’s Rising at a time when fewer albums are being released due to the pandemic will give it more exposure. It certainly deserves the attention, with its superior story-telling and well-crafted arrangements. This is one of the strongest debuts of the year so far, and while that might seem faint praise given we’re only one season change in, I’d be surprised if there were many better emerging in the months to come.

Adam Jenkins