To hear of a folk music band releasing a new, let alone a debut, album is a rare thing these days, because there's not much of a demand in the modern mainstream music market for a folk band. However, London based folk quintet Billy Vincent apparently feel that this is a niche in the market that they want to, and can, exploit. The group have been releasing records themselves since March 2009, but have since been noticed by label Something Nothing Records and signed to release their first signed EP, King Island Coyote.
Upon first listening, the impression one gets is a pleasant, country and western feel, not unlike that of Rascal Flatts, but the songs never really get the same sort of uplifting, epic and emotive sound that Flatts manage to achieve, but instead stay a lot more like the traditional folk style that the band proclaim they to have. After the first few minutes, the Flatts sounds sort of blends into the background to be replaced with Billy Vincent's own, unique sound. To be fair, this isn't bad, in fact it's actually quite good, it just might be a bit of an acquired taste for some.
It could be a fair assumption to say that Billy Vincent have managed to modernise the genre of folk into something more accessible by many different people, by changing the genre very slightly to make the songs feel more like they are aimed at everyone, and not just pure folk fans. Pure fans won't be disappointed either, as the music keeps a traditional style, as if the band members are themselves fans. I would say, in general however, that an attempt to modernise folk and bring it into the mainstream is an ambitious and very difficult task for a pure folk band - it's probably better to add some elements to other music, than to add other musical elements to this type of music. Overall though, it's a really good EP, the songs are catchy and memorable but it just may not be very accessible. 6/10.