sun 07/03/2021

CD: James Yorkston - The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society | reviews, news & interviews

CD: James Yorkston - The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society

CD: James Yorkston - The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society

A soft delivery and deceptively conversational tone hide a powerful writer

The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society - simple and elegant

The Fence Collective – originally a group of mates coming together to sing in a pub in Fife – has given the world an extraordinary roll-call of exceedingly durable singer-songwriter talent.

The Fence Collective – originally a group of mates coming together to sing in a pub in Fife – has given the world an extraordinary roll-call of exceedingly durable singer-songwriter talent. The likes of the Anderson brothers Kenny, Ian and Gordon (aka King Creosote, Pip Dylan and Beta Band / Aliens member Lone Pigeon respectively), Johnny “The Pictish Trail” Lynch and a host of others have released such a vast catalogue of albums laced with intelligent eccentricity, intense emotion and gentle Scots vernacular that it's hard to know where to start with them.

One excellent starting point for the unfamiliar might be this record. James Yorkston has always been one of the most focused and fully developed of artists on the label, his soft delivery and deceptively conversational tone hiding a powerful writer. He's literary enough to have produced an excellent book in 2011's It's Lovely to be Here: The Touring Diaries of a Scottish Gent, but still musical enough so that his wordiness is never intrusive; if you so choose, you can let his confessionals and considerations wash over you as an integral part of his dreamy musical textures.

There are 16 tracks here, featuring various guests – Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor produces, former Fence associate KT Tunstall sings, avant garde steel pan player Fimber Bravo plays steel pans – but it never feels over-egged, turgid or meandering. In everything he does, Yorkston seems to believe in taking his own sweet time: not exactly navel gazing, but assessing the moment and taking great care to present his assessment simply and elegantly. Sometimes sad, sometimes edifying, and frequently very, very beautiful, this is up there with his best work and recommended to anyone who wants to take time out into the world of a very smart daydreamer.

You can let his confessionals and considerations wash over you as an integral part of his dreamy musical textures

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Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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