Unearthed and shining brightly

The Natterjacks
The Natterjacks

If you’re between the age bracket of 15-25; there’s a high possibility you’ll already know about the beautiful workings of The Natterjacks.

If you’ve ever been to The Brickmakers pub in Brimington; you’ll have been foot stomping on their piano, screaming along to their hearty, folk time lyrics.

The indie folk duo has just released debut albut Highlands, and first track Hurdles shows it’s a record that is going to be full of energy and so sprightly. What’s also clear is how much the pair have developed, they always manage to maintain such a sophisticated sound, which is evident in Red Skies and Be Assured. The Vaccines and Mumford covers have been long forgotten and replaced with some pretty suave folk rock.

“Still I’m trying to delay your departure, hoping that one day you will travel no farther than my side” is just one of many hopelessly romantic lyrics in Highlands.

Lyrically, the boys have managed to grasp sincerity and huge fist pumping choruses and pounded them together to create such an exquisite and spirited mix.

Trophies opens with a simple vocal lead and elegantly transforms into a beautiful explosion of banjos and guitars. These boys have been playing for around two or three years and it’s still impressive how just two men can create so much sound. Fourteen Lines and Dark Days are very similar in their introductions; simple yet effective, but Time Will Tell is where the album really steps up its game. It’s as if Freddie and Mark are giving the second to last track their final ‘oomph’ before Open Arms.

The last track on Highlands is a powerhouse of everything folk; vocally exceptional, intricate banjo leads and an everchanging tempo.

When I first reviewed The Natterjacks I wrote this: ‘There are bands that you don’t go intentionally to see, but just happen to catch on occasion and they leave an audience with the sense of fulfilment that no amount of alcohol can create; The Natterjacks look set to become one of those bands...’

A year on, I can confirm that The Natterjacks are the band that you choose to go and see; you choose to witness such a raw yet ethereal, uplifting performance.

These boys have been unearthed and by God are they shining.