Song: Bonny Light Horseman – Greenland Fishery review

By Phil Scarisbrick

In June, it was announced that 37d03d signees, Bonny Light Horseman, would release a new double A-side 7 inch called Green/Green. Linked by the title colour, the two songs comprising the release we recorded at the same time as their eponymous debut album, but were left off to maximise the sound quality of the vinyl release. The first of these songs, Green Rocky Road, was our Single of the Week on release. Now, we complete the set with the equally wonderful Greenland Fishery.

The banjo-based track swells around Anaïs Mitchell’s vocal, conveying nautical tales that evoke images of a bygone, simpler time, yet could quite easily occur even today. ‘No more, no more can you stay on shore/ Gonna work for the company/ Where there’s ice and there’s snow and the whale fishes/ and the Greenland fishery boys,’ she sings, setting our scene, as dual fiddles adds a poignant tinge to the soundtrack. This growing mood sees the characters of this tale meet inevitable peril, ‘The harpoon struck and the line played out/ but the fish gave flick with the tale/ and boats capsized and they losta dozen men/ and a hundred barrels of oil, boys.‘ The lyrics create a Tolkienian style allegory for the charm and beauty of the simple things in life, and a warning of the perils of industrialisation.

Whereas Green Rocky Road was straight up Americana, Greenland Fishery feels more inline with  traditional Irish folk music, and works wonderfully as a touching pivot to its predecessor’s layered vocals and more driving soundtrack.

Green/Green is available now through 37d03d – on streaming services and 7″ vinyl.

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