Communion Comes to New York City

March 30th, 2012

Communion: Austin to Boston Tour – Mercury Lounge – March 29, 2012

Communion’s name has risen to prominence in recent months due in part to the involvement of Ben Lovett from Mumford & Sons, but mostly because of the English label’s consistently stellar folk-singer-songwriter (and everything in between) lineups and releases. And last night its Austin to Boston tour, featuring Bear’s Den, Nathaniel Rateliff, the Staves and Ben Howard, came to Mercury Lounge. Something I love (and have always loved, since Communion’s London club nights way back) is the fact that you can arrive at an event knowing none of the acts and leave a fan of all of them.

Bear’s Den, featuring longtime London favorite frontman Andrew Davie, started off the night. Davie’s beautiful, unique voice mixed with earnest lyrics made for a perfect beginning. And songs like “Stubborn Beast” and “Pompeii” are sure to be floating around blogosphere soon. Next, Rateliff, a solo performer with a great sense of melody and melancholy, seemed somewhat darker but equally as beautiful.

After Rateliff the Staves, an all-female harmonizing trio with a killer sense of humor, told the audience they had used Midnight Cowboy’s “Hey, I’m walkin’ here” line at least once that day. And then Ben Howard closed the show with his beautiful brand of upbeat British folk. Communion may only recently be receiving attention Stateside but the label’s been chugging along quietly in the UK, building up a fantastic roster of talent and, thankfully, they’re ready to share it with us now. —Lauren Glucksman