Reviews

'Circus for Sale' is the perfect title for this LP, because, as there is with many circus folk, there’s a sense of melancholy in this band’s music, even as some of these songs try to be outwardly bright. I hear influences from folk, psych, and movie soundtrack music of the 70s in the dozen songs on this LP. The songs are delicate and gentle, Rebecca Hall’s vocals sweet and sorrowful. There’s an almost spiritual feel to the songs, as if they’re coming from another plane of existence, ethereal and unreal.

'Man of Poor Fortune' is a favorite track here, with a vaguely Celtic melody and featuring guest player Rachael Birkin’s viola as counterpoint to Rebecca's singing. What sounds like a concertina blends with a heavenly chorus of backing vocals to provide a lush setting for the song, as a guitar plucks quietly. There’s a distinct sadness to the song, appropriate for the murder ballad subject matter. Likewise, the Bert Jansch song, 'Morning Brings Peace of Mind,' which blends electric and acoustic guitars with Hall’s angelic vocals, has hints of Celtic folk. It’s got an otherworldly feel, with the hushed sound of daybreak when sometimes it seems like you’re the only person alive and awake in the world.

I also adore the title track, which has a real feel of an ancient run-down circus. You can hear the hurdy-gurdy playing and get a sense of the better days the circus has seen, before it fell out of favor and into disrepair. The song was inspired by an actual circus for sale in northern England, as described to Hall and her husband and musical partner, Ken Anderson. Later in the album is an epilogue to this song, 'Gravity,' speaking of the skill and showmanship of the man on the flying trapeze, but how there is no longer anyone to see his daring feats, and a reminder that the circus is for sale. You can hear both the sadness and the pride, as a cello gently weeps along to the waltz time rhythm that tries desperately to sound bright. A hammered dulcimer provides just the right texture to revive images of past glory from long ago. Hungrytown’s fourth LP is beautiful and charming.” - Paul Silver

Jersey Beat

Vermont baroque/indie folk artists Hungrytown are a throwback with their carefully crafted recording and ethereal vocals, hearkening back to favorites such as Pentangle and Fairport Convention.”

Big Takeover

Hungrytown’s new album, Circus For Sale, perhaps, requires some audio equivalent to a pair of those 3-D glasses to reveal the deep dimensions within their hybrid sound of Americana-Celtic-psych-very British '70’s folk music, which steps on delicate, melodic, and ancient stones brushed with vibrant coloured currents distilled into wonderful folk songs. To be beautifully blunt: This album conjures the summer idylls still vibrant in the vinyl grooves of British and Irish '70s folk greats like Bridget St. John, Trader Horne (with Judy Dyble!), Spriguns, Vashti Bunyan, (sans the electricity) Trees, and Mellow Candle. And because Hungrytown has Americana roots, it’s good to throw the brilliant Judee Sill into the mix.” - Bill Golembeski

Folking.com

[Circus for Sale] is a truly wonderful album, one I will be returning to often and comes highly recommended. ” - Andrew Young

Terrascope

Circus For Sale is a recording that I fell in love with from the first listen, and I haven’t stopped listening to it. Smart lyrics and a cracker of a band are a winning combination.”

Weathered Music

[Circus for Sale] has that late '60s/early '70s psychedelic pop meets Laurel Canyon vibe. It really is a gloriously uplifting listen, be it the sublime ‘Little Bird’ or ‘Feel Like Falling,’ where the strings of the Aliento Chamber Players add an extra bit of musical magic. Their version of Bert Jansch’s ‘Morning Brings Peace of Mind’ is also worthy of a special mention. The singing and acoustic guitar are things of beauty on the ears.” - Jason Ritchie

Get Ready to Rock!

[Translated from Dutch] Hungrytown is a remarkable duo. Singer Rebecca Hall was a jazz singer, Ken Anderson drummer in various garage bands. Together they now play different instruments and write songs that stand out because of their intelligent humorous lyrics, while the arrangements go in all directions. In short, again a small masterpiece by a special duo.”

Moors Magazine

[Circus for Sale] is the fourth album from Hungrytown, but the first I have had the pleasure of hearing, and indeed it is a pleasure as psych folk with more than a hint of baroque pop is right up my street. There is a beauty and calmness to it that one can lose themself in and ignore and forget briefly the day-to-day turmoil that surrounds them. Vocalist Rebbecca Hall is blessed with a magically sweet innocent voice that floats and weaves its way through the musical sea of melodious tranquility that wraps itself around the listener: pure bliss.” - Brian "Bordello" O'Shea

Monolith Cocktail

You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d wandered onto the sound stage of The Graduate, Love Story or Harold and Maude. Because though Hungrytown are gracefully influenced by the music of the Fairport Convention and Nick Drake era, this is movie music. Circus for Sale is the soundtrack for the film we all lived during the pandemic and the sequel for the after-life we are living now.”

Letters from Jeni Hankins