Albums round-up: Thundercloud by Plumhall; Youth by Lilac’s Daughter

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Michelle Plum and Nick B Hall cut to the chase with their debut album. “What the hell did I ever do to you?/You know I’ve got weighty things to do,” run the opening lines of the title track for this 11-song collection.

Plum, late of Chumbawamba, Waking The Witch, and her husband, a longtime member of The Hall Brothers band, are feisty songwriters and adept harmonisers with a fondness for folk and Americana. Immediate comparisons that spring to mind are Richard and Linda Thompson and the Lilac Time.

Beneath the melodic sweetness of songs such as 10,000 Locks and No Fear lurks a lyrical sharpness that makes the entire record a lasting treat.

Plumhall play at the National Railway Museum in York on September 6, The Live Room, Saltaire on September 14 and at Otley Festival on September 21. For further details visit

Sif Jacobsen – aka Lilac’s Daughter – is a Danish singer-songwriter based in Leeds. She began writing songs a decade ago on an old guitar found in a cupboard. Her band for this album extends to a five-piece and includes violins, banjo, piano, bass and drums.

Her songs are fragile, sparsely arranged and conjure images of natural wildernesses and emotional scars. “So here am I in a strange land with a feeling there’s more to life I’m not quite catching,” she ponders in Untitled; “Can you believe it’s been more than two years? I’m wondering if we’ll get them back,” she sighs plaintively in Bitter & Scared.

Jacobsen will be innovatively launching her album with a three-hour boat trip on the River Aire with johnnythefirth and Miles Hillbillys on Sunday August 17. For details visit or