Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio we’re getting festive with The Marsh Family’s latest single, In the Bleak – a folk-rock adaptation of the classic Christmas Carol, In The Bleak Midwinter.
Our readers will recall we previously reviewed the Marsh Family’s spectacular track, Biological Clock – a song for all the family about menopause! Surprisingly, not remotely cringeworthy, and a superb display of humour and musicianship.
This UK-based family band are going from strength to strength and we must point out that all proceeds from the sale of this track are being donated to Save The Children.
Starting gently on piano, the track feels like a Christmas song right from the start. With a few changed lyrics to emphasise the global cost of living crisis (“In The Bleak Midwinter, Cost of living’s grown”), this is a song which is not a straightforward cover by any means.
Female vocals take the first verse and then male vocals take the second. After this, each member of the family is given the opportunity to shine, each one displaying their remarkable prowess as established vocalists.
We love the super-subtle clarinet fills and the occasional trumpet moments that arrive later in the track. Everything here points to some very high-calibre genes! The bass playing here is superb and everything about the piano playing screams virtuoso.
The tempo takes a shift up and the drums take the song to a whole new dimension. This is a huge production track and we wouldn’t be remotely surprised to see the Marsh Family have success next as producers of the next West End Rock Opera. This is dramatic and anthemic musical theatre.
We love the rise and fall in the track and there isn’t one moment where we, as listeners, were not totally engaged by this song. Each lead singer is of high quality but when the harmonies come in, that is where the band truly shine.
Ending as it started, with piano, but also some lovely little trumpet flourishes, the song fades out with a heartbeat-style kick drum, beating to signify the festive spirit of A Christmas Carol.
Ideas from our ears
A couple of EQ boosts around 60Hz and 150Hz would thicken up the low end and bring out the thump of the kick drum a little more. A small cut around 350Hz and again around 800Hz would balance out some peaks in the vocal lines too. A small boost across the top 3 octaves with an additional boost around 4.5kHz would allow for some extra presence and brightness. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
We genuinely love everything about the Marsh Family. They have come together as a family and bonded over their music and are now sharing their talents with the world and, in this case, for a very deserving charity. What’s not to love? Please download this single today!