Early Cartographers are a multi-instrumental acoustic outfit currently purveying their own upbeat folk(ish)-pop melodies across Sheffield. Encompassing a diverse range of musical influences and styles, not to mention beautiful harmonies and a huge array of different instruments, Early Cartographers are quite the musical-melting pot. With a seemingly ever-evolving line-up, it might be a fair to assess them as less of a band and more of a musical collective, a description which seems to fit a group who confess they prefer playing “in parks, allotments, on rooftops and the back rooms of small cafés”, although they are happy to play more conventional venues too. This collective ethos coupled with the sharing of the song-writing load, the vocals and, indeed, the instruments, means that this group come across as something rather wonderful, carving a unique niche for themselves in a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult for bands to stand out.
The music itself is quite glorious, moving effortlessly as it does between soft and ethereal to powerful and resounding, all the while laid over with perfectly balanced harmonies. Poetic lyrics are intertwined with a rich musical canvas of acoustic guitars, strings, percussion and brass, giving each track a multi-layered quality that builds and soars into something quite captivating.
If you’re after something unusual, simultaneously uplifting and haunting, poetic and with the ability to enchant, then you’ve come to the right place. For more tracks, news and live dates, head over to the Early Cartographers website or check out their Facebook page. Ooh, and don’t forget to download their EP ‘The Wolf Chorus’ via their bandcamp.