• Bryon Harris

Flaming June - The Firework Maker's Daughter

Flaming June is an indie-folk group who write and perform songs about women’s rights, social justice, political protest and more. The trio consists of: Louise Eatock, vocals and guitar; Alex Herring, violin and vocals; and Andy Fraser, percussion. Flaming June have received airplay on the BBC, a FATEA award and praise from the prestigious author of The Vagina Monologues – Eve Ensler. They have supported Big Country, Eliza Carthy, The Men They Couldn’t Hang and played Standon Calling, Ely Folk Festival amongst others. Their 9th EP, 'The Firework Maker's Daughter', was released on December 14th to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of British women's right to vote. The album covers topics such as – unequal opportunities and the victory of women’s voting. 'The Firework Maker's Daughter' was inspired by a book by Philip Pullman that tells the tale of a girl who wants to make fire like her father telling him, “I can burn too.”

The four song EP opens with it’s title track, “The Firework Maker's Daughter.” From the melody to the lyrics and passionate singing to gorgeous violin playing, this is a song that moves the soul. The Firework Maker's Daughter is about having “a smoke inside,” a burning passion to be all that you want to be, and having the freedom to pursue your dreams. “I want to make fire like you come on show me. Come on show me what to do. Cause I can burn too.” In The Firework Maker's Daughter, Flaming June showcases their talent for writing intelligent lyrics and putting them to music that “makes fire.”

The next song up is “Oblivion.” Immediately apparent is Flaming June’s ability to write catchy melodies that get stuck in your head. This song presents nice vocal harmonies and it drives forward with true intensity as the group sings, “Can you forge real love in a fake, fake world, can you?” On the surface, “Oblivion” seems to be a song about drug addiction. A deeper look reveals a poignant political protest song about poverty and a political system that is apathetic.

“Drunkin’ Assasin” follows with a tongue-and-check look at the human condition of loneliness and solitude. The songs explores the comedic side of the quest for love and happiness. The chorus is infectious. “Kill the loneliness, you kill the loneliness for me my one and only-ness. If only you weren’t drinking yourself to death.” The song has a great rhythmic sensibility creating a fun swing.

The third song on the EP“The Women's Battalion” has robust folk strumming on acoustic guitar, hand drumming and fiddle that come together for a Celtic rock vibe a bit reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt. This sound is fitting for the time period it commemorates (100 years ago during the women’s suffrage period). The energy is upbeat and contagious. Louise enters singing, “A hundred years since the vote was won…hunger strikes and prison gates, the tide is turning England shakes.” A bridge section is well arranged with a dynamic marching sound. “Left Right, Left Right, here they come with a fire in their hearts,” Alex weaves her violin around the melody and offers solos that are engaging.

Check out the video of "The Women’s Battalion." The trio has a great stage presence. Louise's vocal performance is down-to earth and easily relatable. Alex plays the violin like the instrument is part of her body and the music just pours out her. Percussionist Andy Fraser adds an artistic and creative groove.

From beginning to end, 'The Firework Maker's Daughter' is a musically mesmerizing, fervent and heartfelt album brimming with powerful songs that enlighten and inspire. The title of the album commemorates an event that occurred 100 years ago and through music, Flaming June carries the vitally relevant torch of music and social justice into the future with great artistry.

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