Marry Waterson & Oliver Knight – The Days That Shaped Me

The Days That Shaped Me’ is the debut album from Marry Waterson and Oliver Knight. Where to start? This is evening music – something that you would put on after a long day at work. ‘The Days That Shaped Me’ are as quintessential to sleep as whale song is to meditation. The slow tempos and elongated vocals all aid in the hypnotic approach the album generally seems to take. The general mellow quality does, however, manage to be interspersed with the casual up-tempo tune. The raw nature of the recording immediately strikes you with its authenticity, almost as if each song is the first and only take and you are the only person in possession of it.  The opening track, ‘Father Us’ is a genuinely tender tune that serves as a preliminary exposition of Marry’s tone and voice. A few have classed Marry’s and Oliver’s music as Brit Folk, but the truth is that this album incorporates a plethora of styles – from jazz to pop, the instrumentation alternates between guitars, violins, pianos and bongo drums. After listening to the album twice over it is easy to see that it is Marry’s voice that gives this musical collaboration its identity – no matter the style or content in the accompaniment, her voice remains the same. Of all the tracks on the album, the fourth, ‘Curse The Day’, sounds the most quintessential to the understanding of their music. There is almost an ethereal and nostalgic tint to it that is reminiscent to the old Gaelic Folk songs about destitution and loss. The album has a bit of charm and character but it is not enough to win over new listeners – but for some reason, I don’t think they care. However, fans of Brit Folk and contemplative music would see this as a welcome addition to their musical repertoire.

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