“Milton Hide display many sides of their musical background, from the rock with prog leanings of the title track, through to ‘Riding The Whale’, a beautiful song about childhood and playing on the beach.”
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.
The line-up of musicians appearing on the album are all people the duo have met through playing live including Clare Fowler (Dandelion Charm), Fred Gregory & Phil Jones (Hatful Of Rain), with Dandelion Charm’s John Fowler handling production duties (plus playing guitars, bass, keyboards and drums).
Milton Hide display many sides of their musical background, from the rock with prog leanings of the title track, through to ‘Riding The Whale’, a beautiful song about childhood and playing on the beach.
Hard to pick favourites on such a strong album, however, ‘Buckle Up’ stands out, not only for the melody and singing, but that is was inspired by the true story of Sergeant Paul Meyer of the USAF. Meyer ‘borrowed’ a C130 transport aircraft to fly from England back to his newly-wed wife in Virginia.
‘Say It All The Time’ was released as a charity single in 2019 describing a black mood walk on the South Downs. The subject of depression tackled in an uplifting manner if that makes sense at all?! If ever a folk song had crossover potential to daytime radio it is this one.
‘Something You Don’t See Everyday’ is a social comment on the irony of becoming desensitised to daily horrors served up to us by the mainstream news media and social media, especially during this pandemic. Jim and Josie’s vocals suit each other well, as Josie’s higher harmonies weave well into the singing of Jim.
The album’s final track, ‘Took To Wing (Nightingale)’, sees the album end on a high. The rousing chorus and overall feel/sound of the song recalls Fairport Convention at their best. A wonderful way to finish the album on.
I have enjoyed Milton Hide’s live streaming earlier on in lockdown, as they both love their music and performing it, something that shows upon listening to this delightful and enjoyable debut album. Add in the excellent sound/production work of John Fowler and you have one of this year’s ‘must have’ folk albums. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie