Honey and the Bear: Away from the Fret review – another spirited hymn to Suffolk


The title “fret” does not represent worry, but rather the foggy sea air that envelops the East Anglian coast where Lucy and Jon Hart, a married couple, reside. This third album, released in 2019, finishes a series of three albums that draw inspiration from their home region. The collection features original songs that celebrate the beauty of Suffolk’s landscape and pays tribute to notable figures such as pioneering feminist doctor Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (who was also the mayor of Aldeburgh) and 1920s astrophysicist Cecilia Payne. These individuals are joined by brave lifeboat crews and legendary smugglers in the songs.

Similar to its previous releases, Away Beyond the Fret is an energetic compilation, featuring Lucy Hart’s powerful and melodious vocals and accompanied by a dynamic blend of guitar skills from the couple (including bouzouki and ukulele) and additional support from cello, fiddle, and more. The theme of seafaring is prominent throughout the album. One noteworthy track, “5500 Miles”, tells the story of a Salvadoran fisherman who was adrift in a small boat for over a year, enduring extreme conditions of heat and cold. Another standout song is “Do You Keep It Underneath”, a two-minute piece with beautiful vocal harmonies and minimal bodhrán accompaniment, paying tribute to smugglers. The album also features a selection of more intimate tracks, such as “Make This Land Our Home” and “Stay With You”, which is a heartfelt dedication to the couple’s family and is enhanced by the presence of a local choir.

Source: theguardian.com