The Cunic Ensemble – The Gram


The Cunic Ensemble came together in 2011 after multi instrumentalist John Clarke had written a batch of songs that had themes in common. Although Clarke had experience in writing and producing instrumental music for films, these songs begged for interaction with other musicians – the birth of The Cunic Ensemble. Among the many contributors are local Mersey singer Ann-Marie Howard and Liverpool actor Paul Duckworth. In all, there are about 16 musicians and singers involved in the project. Don’t mistake eclectic for disjointed – this is an assured debut that delivers the goods.

The feel of the songs differ from one to the next, a vibe that was intended with the band opting for variety over cohesion. Lead off single “Inspiration” lives up to its name, full of jazzy piano and seductive female vocals. A nice way for the world to be introduced to The Cunic Ensemble. “Freedom” boasts a meandering acoustic guitar, falsetto vocals, and an overall positive vibe. “Feel the Unknown” is instrumentally sparse, allowing the ragged vocals to resonate more effectively with the listener. “It’s so easy to hate / not so easy to love” – truer words have never been spoken, and they are sung passionately in this standout track. “It’s All Just a Laugh” reminds me of early 70’s Van Morrison in the best possible way. The music swings evocatively with the vocals filling in the spaces perfectly. “No matter how they drag you down / keep a smile on your face, forget what is around” – I like that positive thought and the instrumental solos add melodic flourishes that will definitely keep that smile on your face.  The album overall showcases stunning musicianship that is complimented by male and female vocalists. I’m not really sure what genre it’d fall into, but Jazzy Rock comes to mind? Highly recommended.

You can purchase the album via all the major electronic music sellers (Amazon, Itunes, Play). Make sure to check out the label’s website here as well as the band’s Facebook page. A debut record that calls up feelings of nostalgia, this is one trip you won’t want to miss.


  1. Inspiration
  2. Winter Bleak
  3. Freedom
  4. Yearning for Spaces
  5. Out of Here
  6. The Gram Jam
  7. The Dread
  8. Feel the Unknown
  9. Sea Feel
  10. D Nonsense
  11. It’s All Just a Laugh
  12. Joined

Verdict: Jazzy debut

For Fans of: Nick Drake, Steve Wonder, Tim Buckley, Van Morrison


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