Nowadays, in the swirling mass of folk music, it’s rare to come across a band that just seem to embody the genre and all of its contemporary relevance. Hot Feet, despite this being only their debut EP, are no strangers to the wide world of folk rock, having supported leaders in the field such as Lucy Rose, Kyla La Grange and King Charles and been produced by the ever-impressive Pete Roe. It seems with the backing of many talented musicians, and an EP written in a Swedish cabin and recorded deep in the Scottish Highlands, the band have enough talent and originality behind them to be one of the big folk breakthroughs in 2013.
Wood House kicks off in true attention-grabbing fashion with title track Wood House, which shows off their wide range of influences with some 60s guitar and great vocal creativity, reminiscent of the early Fairport Convention-esque electro folk. The seamless switch between stomping folk rock and intricate fingerpicking comes as naturally to Hot Feet as the lyrics, which plunge deep into the heart and landscape of vocalist Marianne’s home in the Cotswolds. This is a band who really know how to make the best use of their surrounding, and each story they weave feels like a mini-adventure, a real through-the-rabbit-hole kind of experience, into the world the folk tradition was built on.
The beautiful integration of pop, rock and folk is something that many folk bands are attempting to do, and few achieve. Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Noah & The Whale are the leading lights, and Hot Feet , at this point, don’t seem far behind. The influence of Pete Roe is no doubt a big contributor to this, and his presence comes seeping through at vital points; in Words Of The Water we hear a haunting chorale of male voices underpinning Marianne’s captivating vocals, in the same hypnotic way Laura Marling’s third album showcased. But this takes nothing away from the raw talent Hot Feet unquestionably have and the success they inevitably have to come. Wood House already shows their diversity and potential to create the type of open modern folk music that is sure to draw in many fans, whatever genre of music their loyalties lie in.