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March 28, 2010

BARCODE: 843190006823

“Wrought iron is made by repeatedly heating and working the raw material with a hammer,” says Nancy Elizabeth of the source of her second album’s title. “This ancient process brings impurities out of the metal, making it stronger, and this was often used to make beautiful and ornate things. I like the analogy of personal adversity and experience being the process of forging, and the pure and strong wrought iron being the end result.”

Like true wrought iron, they rarely make them like this any more. In contrast to the rich tapestries of her debut album, 2007’s Battle and Victory , Nancy has taken inspiration from silence and solitude to fuel these strangely gripping, quietly involving songs. Turning her back on the harp that provided the musical focus for her earlier work, these beautiful, understated compositions allow for a fresh instrumental palette, most of which she plays herself – including guitar, glockenspiel, vibraphone and a hundred-year-old Dulcitone – but built around her main instrument of choice, the piano, and her warm, unaffected voice.
Nancy has forged quite a reputation in the four years since she emerged from her Lancashire home-town with her debut EP, The Wheel Turning King. She has performed throughout Europe and as far afield as Mexico, as well as recording with James Yorkston on his last album When The Haar Rolls In, and a forthcoming album of traditional folk songs as part of The Big Eye Family Players. She also recently collaborated with Japanese artist Susumu Yokota on his album Mother, and contributed a unique take on ‘Cornfield’ to the Lal Waterson tribute album Migrating Bird.
The album is as much influenced by the minimalism of Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich as by the choral harmonies of Judee Sill and the bare expression of Leonard Cohen’s early records. “I find music attractive in its simplicity.” Nancy explains. “I’m fascinated when I listen to Steve Reich’s work. I love his use of voices, mallet instruments and pianos, and I wanted to bring some of that to the album.”
1. Cairns
2. Bring On The Hurricane
3. Tow The Line
4. Feet Of Courage
5. Divining
6. Cat Bells
7. Canopy
8. Lay Low
9. The Act
10. Ruins
11. Winter, Baby

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