“Ben McElroy’s newest is a masterclass in acoustic folk tunes. His five-track record caters to the scene he’s set his roots in over the last decade, perfectly embodying all that rural-folk sets out to achieve.”

“Bird-Stone is a truly brilliant release that takes a non-traditional approach to familiar instrumentation. Splendid from beginning to end.”

“One comes away from its folk-inflected settings impressed by McElroy’s instrumental command and his vivid evocation of the British countryside.”

“Even the improvisation, which alludes to the unruly growth of plant life with its swoops and curls of sudden instinct, stays safely within the confines of major key. Finger-plucked guitars drift like lazy, contented passages of conversation. Strings flicker like firelight splashing the surrounding walls. The drones of cellos and soft electronics anchor each piece to the earth, bringing warmth and stability to the woven improvisatory nest of “Surely There Are Worse Things” or the two-chord sway of “That Was The Day”. Yet in the spoken passages on Bird-Stone, McElroy quietly betrays the very tranquility he sustains elsewhere. While all may seem well in these cocoons of self-imposed serenity, the album hints toward the imminent collapse of the planet, as marked by the depletion of organic resources and the insidious destruction of human-accelerated climate change. It’s only on the final track, whose strings start to quiver in microtonal unease, that the unsavoury truth starts to press against the windows.

“Earthy and organic, it is made to breathe freely in the fresh air, where the birds can be themselves.” (In German) (In Italian)