With a soulful jazzy feel, the melancholic folk duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker are back with their latest offering, Overnight. It is an album that they describe as, “a snapshot of the endless cycle of the night into day, dusk-dark-dawn and so on.” And on the first listen it seems they have nailed it, as album-opener Nine Times Long offers that warm sunny buzz that you have on your perfect day. Josienne’s vocals immediately grab your soul and glide you through the rest of the album of ten originals and two covers.
It really is an album that opens perfectly, as straight into the second track, Something Familiar, we are stripped backed further, hearing more of the dreamy and haunting vocals and now the absolute rawness of Ben’s magical fingers on the strings. We are now in the more familiar territory of this award-winning duo, giving way to those that have been there from the beginning to those that are just discovering.
Overnight features two excellent covers, one of which is Gillian Welch’s Dark Turn Of The Mind. Josienne Clarke nails the feel of it as if under a bright blue moon, however it is Walker’s work of the instruments that definitely carries this track and makes it their own song. Weep You No More Sad Fountains follows and is a traditional ballad that gives us more of that folksy sound, whilst Sleep is full of operatic vocals that, no pun intended, sends the listener into a perfect dream.
Overnight is a record with folk at the core, but with a jazz feel, country twang and even a little bit of pop – an album that is welcome to all ears. Moreover, in recent years, it is great to finally find an album that glides perfectly from the opening second to the very last of the 41 minutes that is offered to us. Let me tell you, this year I can only find a handful of records that have had this magic, but with Overnight, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker are not far off a perfect album.