Nancy Elizabeth certainly seems like an artist who prefers not to be rushed. Hot on the heels - that is, if you believe a four year gestation period is a riskily brief one - of her last album Wrought Iron, Dancing sees her continue a relationship with the wonderful Leaf label which again confirms her as one of British folk's most overlooked talents.
Perhaps this is because her music rarely stays true directly to one genre or another, her muse settling like a butterfly on one fleeting inspiration after the next, teasing new forms and textures from a resplendent, baroque background. Each of the three releases to date have seen her using environments which have contributed to their respective atmospheres; this time the studio was the singer's Manchester flat, one which she admits is "Stuffed" with different instruments. If sometimes artists need the separation that movement between home and studio brings in order to become their performing selves, this dislocation it seems isn't necessary. In turn, Dancing is possibly the most complete reflection of Nancy Elizabeth yet; a happy-go-lucky existence she once summed up in interview by stating, "I am completely myself. I believe that my life is perfect as it is, with all its flaws and foibles".
Unsurprisingly, for an artist who refuses to be a slave to fortune or formula, Dancing has a poise and self-assurance which Wrought Iron, at times, lacked in its otherwise long list of admirable qualities. Opener 'The Last Battle' begins in the cod-operatic style of an Angelo Balamenti spaghetti western, before then neatly seguing into a more panoramic tale of love seeking love. Throughout, this is music as opposite to what we might have regarded as folk as the Mumfords are, almost the other side of the sun. 'Mexico', for instance, doesn't so much push boundaries as dance barefoot over them, the singer's voice at the same time rustic and otherworldly on a song whose distorted sounds speak to bold intentions.
Continue reading: Nancy Elizabeth - Dancing Album Review