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Last Bandcamp Friday before Christmas -

16 folk albums for Christmas Bandcamp Friday, 2023

In need of stocking fillers that'll brighten the days of your fave folk musicians? Here's what we recommend for Christmas Bandcamp Friday.

You’ll have seen our Christmas Gifts for Folkies article already, so your stockings are probably close to full. However, what with the last Bandcamp Friday of the year upon us, and with the rest of the world going insane over Spotify Wrapped, we thought it might be a good idea to round up some of the albums we’ve reviewed this year that are available on Bandcamp, so that you can put a little extra cash in the pockets of those musicians you love.

What is Bandcamp Friday?

Bandcamp Friday is a special monthly initiative where the music platform Bandcamp gives up its share of revenue to support independent musicians. On these Fridays, fans can purchase music, merch, and more, knowing that their money directly benefits artists. It’s a powerful way to help the music community thrive.

When is the last Bandcamp Friday of the year?

In 2023, the last Bandcamp Friday of the year falls on December 1st.

Why have you chosen these particular albums?

These albums have all been featured in reviews on our website this year and are all available from Bandcamp on CD, so that they can be wrapped up and put under the tree.

Can I buy these on days other than the last Bandcamp Friday of the year?

Of course you can! But Bandcamp will take a greater percentage of the artist’s revenue. If you want to put a rosy smile on the wintery cheeks of your favourite folk singers, buying on December 1st is the best option.

Here’s what you may have missed out on…

Archie Churchill-Moss, PH(R)ASE

Archie Churchill-Moss sits with his melodeon, preparing to record in the pleasant surrounds of Slow Worm Studios, Norfolk.

We said: “On PH(R)ASE, Archie Churchill-Moss explores his melodeon from top to bottom and comes up with an album of exquisite instrumentals that is sure to linger and tantalise throughout the year.”

Jenn Butterworth & Will Pound, Volume 1

We said: “Prepare yourself for some serious foot tapping, and be warned that it may escalate into a compulsion to leap about and yelp a great deal. It’s infectious music, and the perfect antidote to the cold and wintery months into which it is being released.”

Jennie Higgins – Where Are All the Women?

Jennie Higgins, folk singer, stands in a railway station, staring straight into the camera. She is leaning against a white pillar.

We said: Where Are All the Women? works as a snapshot of an emerging singer engaging with a repertoire of songs she clearly feels a lot for. One hopes that she will collaborate with some of the other young and exciting folk musicians emerging on the English folk scene, who may help to highlight her abilities.”

Hack-Poets Guild, Blackletter Garland

Nathaniel Mann, Marry Waterson and Lisa Knapp - the three members of Hack Poets Guild - stand in a row, with their visages sliced as if in a collage.

We said: “One of the most striking albums of the year so far comes from Lisa Knapp, Nathaniel Mann and Marry Waterson, collectively known as Hack-Poets Guild. Produced by Gerry Diver, Blackletter Garland is a sonic treat for anyone who cares to jump in.”

Reg Meuross, Stolen from God

We said: “Stolen from God marks the culmination of four years of research and writing from master songsmith and storyteller, Reg Meuross. This song cycle takes a look at the horrific involvement of England’s South West in the Atlantic Slave Trade, uncovering buried stories and deeply uncomfortable truths.”

George Sansome & Matt Quinn, Sheffield Park

We said: “A fine first album from two folk musicians already well-known on the English circuit. Great harmonies, superb musicianship and a clear delight in the songs make it one that we reckon will soar in a live setting.”

Shirley Collins, Archangel Hill

Shirley Collins with banjo. The photograph was taken in the 1950s and is in black and white.

We said: “With Archangel Hill, 87-year-old Shirley Collins has surprised many by producing one of the best albums of her career – certainly the best since she returned from musical exile – outshining younger artists and likely securing a spot on the ‘best of 2023’ lists.”

Eliza Carthy Trio, Conversations We’ve Had Before

Saul Rose, Eliza Carthy and Dave Delarre sit in a semi-circular brick structure, each facing the camera.

We said: “Talk about a return to form, this is the best album Eliza Carthy has put together in years, possibly even a decade. In tandem with Saul Rose and David Delarre, with whom she shares an almost supernatural chemistry, the musician has recorded the kind of album you show to people who dismiss English folk music at their peril, demonstrating its highs, its lows, and its ability to take both your breath and your heart the second you let your guard down.”

Tamsin Elliott & Tarek Elazhary, So Far We Have Come

Brother and sister musicians, Rowan and Tamsin Elliott, stand with Egyptian maestro, Tarek Elazhary in a misty field.

We said: So Far We Have Come is an enchanting debut album by Tamsin Elliot and Tarek Elazhary, artfully merging English and Arabic musical traditions. The opening track, ‘In the Grey Of The Morning,’ captivates with gentle birdsong, Elliott’s harp, and Elazhary’s oud, creating a stunning soundscape. The title track, ‘So Far We Have Come,’ evokes hope with a reflective accordion. The album’s dynamic versatility shines in tunes like ‘The Returning Light / Late Frost,’ blending English dance with Elazhary’s oud. This mesmerizing fusion of Arabic and English folk traditions showcases their shared roots and ideals, making it a truly life-affirming and beguiling collaboration.”

Paddi Benson, Grace Lemon & James Patrick Gavin – Volume One – A Curious Dance: Contemporary music for two Uilleann Pipers

We said: “Grace Lemon, James Patrick Gavin, and Tim Fairhall combine traditional and experimental sounds in this fascinating six-track album. The music evokes a dancefloor of unquiet ghosts, blending haunting melodies with dynamic instrumental dialogues. One for those long autumnal nights gathered round the tape machine.”

Imaginational Anthem vol. XII: I Thought I Told You – A Yorkshire Tribute to Michael Chapman

We said: “Michael Chapman’s prolific career spanned 50 albums of exceptional guitar work and diverse songwriting. Henry Parker curated a remarkable tribute in I Thought I Told You, showcasing eight artists from Yorkshire who deliver sensitive, creative performances. The album captures Chapman’s eclectic musical range, from folk to experimental. It’s a timeless journey worth immersing in, led by Parker’s enchanting ‘In The Valley’ and featuring gems like Dean McPhee’s ‘Caddo Lake.’ Katie Spencer and Holly Blackshaw offer hauntingly beautiful renditions, while ‘Heat Index’ and ‘Kodak Ghosts’ add cosmic and eerie dimensions. Chris Brain’s ‘Among the Trees’ concludes with pure Yorkshire joy. A sublime tribute to Michael Chapman’s legacy.”

Melrose Quartet, Make The World Anew

We said: “Melrose Quartet’s Make The World Anew combines Sheffield’s folk powerhouses: Kerr, Fagan, and the Arrowsmiths. The album offers a blend of traditional and modern folk, each song chosen with personal connection. Diverse vocals and compositions deliver uplifting, catchy tracks, celebrating folk’s enduring spirit.”

Frankie Archer, Never So Red

We said: “Frankie Archer’s debut EP blends digi-folk with traditional elements, challenging outdated narratives through her music. Her stark storytelling in songs like ‘Alone Maids Do Stray’ confronts issues like sexual violence with chilling clarity. Collaborating with Jim Moray, her EP ‘Never So Red’ innovates with electronic sounds while addressing serious themes, engaging listeners with a mix of authenticity and modernity. A powerful statement from an increasingly essential artist.”

Nick Hart & Tom Moore, The Colour of Amber

We said: The Colour of Amber by Nick Hart and Tom Moore emerges as one of 2023’s finest traditional folk albums, offering a bold and vibrant take on classic tunes with exceptional musicianship and warm, honest vocals. Once again, Hart stakes a claim to being his generation’s Martin Carthy, while Moore notches up yet another great album for Slow Worm Records as both an inventive musician and quality folk (co)producer.”

John Francis Flynn – Look Over the Wall, See the Sky

We said: “John Francis Flynn’s Look Over the Wall, See the Sky is a transformative Irish folk album. Melding traditional songs with experimental sounds, Flynn sets sail for a magical, new Ireland. His blend of earthy vocals, electronic elements, and traditional instruments is as unnerving as it is innovative, making this album an instant classic.”

Jim Moray, Beflean

Jim Moray sits on the steps of Abbey Road Studios wearing a red Harrington jacket, blue jeans and playing an Atkin acoustic guitar.

We said: Beflean, Jim Moray’s latest album, masterfully reinterprets his folk catalogue with a stripped-back approach. Recorded at Abbey Road, it features a host of guest artists, all the while holding focus on Moray’s soulful voice and exceptional musicianship. It stands out as a strong contender for album of the year.”