O’Hooley & Tidow - ‘The Hum’

O'Hooley & Tidow
O'Hooley & Tidow

O’Hooley & Tidow - ‘The Hum’ (No Masters NMCD410)

Hard-working Huddersfield duo Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow are being rightly feted as two of the brightest talents on the traditional English folk music scene.

From their debut album ‘Silent June’ in 2010 through to follow up ‘The Fragile’ in 2012, O’Hooley and Tidow have built up a strong following both on the live circuit and also through increased airplay on national radio.

Their reputations have now been greatly enhanced with their critically-acclaimed third release ‘The Hum’.

Having been aware of O’Hooley and Tidow’s music since before ‘Silent June’, it is a delight to see how the duo have progressed both in terms of their standing in the folk world and their own musical journey.

This is a confident, mature work incorporating superb songwriting skills with trademark harmonies and Belinda’s signature keyboard playing.

They are well served by a sympathetic Gerry Diver, the Mercury-nominated multi-instrumentalist adding strings, percussion and autoharp among other treats as well as pulling the whole thing together in his role as producer.

Past O’Hooley and Tidow albums have dealt with the vulnerability and fraility in human relationships. ‘The Hum’ is a very different beast with songs dealing with oppression and austerity rubbing shoulders with the moving (‘Two Mothers’) and the celebratory (‘Summat’s Brewin’).

O’Hooley’s connection to folk legend Nic Jones is represented by an atmospheric version of his ‘Ruins By The Shore’ - one of the many highlights of a album that, both lyrically and musically, will disarm even the hardest of hearts.

O’Hooley and Tidow are already on the road promoting the album with the official launch taking place at Marsden Mechanics Hall, Huddersfield, on March 8 where a small number of tickets are still available.

The album may be called ‘The Hum’, but it has certainly created a buzz.

Visit Belinda and Heidi’s website at www.ohooleyandtidow.com for details of where to purchase the album and news of live dates.

John Metcalfe