Honey and the Bear: Away from the Fret review – another spirited hymn to Suffolk


The title’s “fret” does not represent worry, but instead symbolizes the sea fog that covers the East Anglian coasts where Lucy and Jon Hart, a married couple, reside. This is their third album since 2019, which completes a series of three albums inspired by their home region. The songs are all original and celebrate the beautiful landscape of Suffolk, as well as notable figures from the area such as pioneering feminist doctor Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne from the 1920s. Alongside these heroes, the album also pays tribute to resilient lifeboat crews and infamous smugglers from the region’s history.

Similar to its previous works, Away Beyond the Fret is a lively collection of songs, driven by Lucy Hart’s emotive vocals and accompanied by a dynamic blend of guitar skills (featuring bouzouki and ukulele) along with support from cello, fiddle, and more. The theme of seafaring is prominent throughout the album. The country-inspired track 5500 Miles tells the story of a Salvadoran fisherman stranded at sea for over a year, enduring extreme weather conditions. The song Do You Keep It Underneath pays tribute to smugglers through two minutes of beautiful vocal harmonies and the simple accompaniment of a bodhrán. The album also includes a selection of personal songs to balance out the overall tone, such as Make This Land Our Home and Stay With You, a heartfelt dedication to the couple’s family with the added touch of a local choir.

Source: theguardian.com

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