I am absolutely smitten by Of Flight & Fury, the second album by Brighton band The Miserable Rich.
It may have been Stornoway’s year in the folk-pop stakes, but I think this record easily eclipses the Oxford band’s debut. Described as ‘chamber pop’, largely on account of their gorgeous cello and violin players, The Miserable Rich are more of a quirky bowtie combo than a blustery knitwear collective. Their songs are so cleverly written, have highfalutin titles like Pegasus, Chestnut Sunday and The Mouth of the Wolf, and the album is punctuated by an eccentric four part instrumental concept called Flight.
But it’s not strangeness with no substance.
James de Malplaquet’s voice is a thing of quavering beauty, around which these bright, elegant songs are crafted. Other highlights include Let Me Fade, which sounds like a hymn from a sun-drenched picnic, and the marvellous Somerhill, a jaunty, gentle village-green waltz.
Rich? It’s certainly a sumptuous aural feast. Miserable? Not remotely. Judge for yourself with these live songs, and two of the album’s finest songs, Pegasus and The Mouth of the Wolf.