Concertina, double bass, trumpet and a couple of voices (plus a touch of violin here and there) seems an unlikely combination, but Strandline have hit on something unique in mixing them together. The trio of Kat Blockley, Claude Lamon and Lizzie Pridmore play a unique, beautifully wonky style of folk music. Inland, their debut five-track EP, has a sitting room intimacy whose closest parallel maybe be the unforced, charming eccentricity of Ivor Cutler.
Strandline’s music is endearing, with its own weirdness, like the off-kilter shanty of “Cookworthy Knapp,” (an ode to a landmark, nothing to do with the sea), or the near nursery rhyme rhythms of “Gracey Briney.” These sit quite naturally next to the lovely heartbreak of “The Sun Still Rises,” where the trumpet gives its own elegy, and “What Changes,” which could be perfect for an alternative Morris side. There’s nothing traditional here, yet it manages to feel ancient, as if it’s been lovingly dug out of the land.
Inland is an album that moves in from the sea along paths that are worn but unfamiliar, music that's handmade in the very best sense, as ragged and utterly delightful as life itself.