James Yorkston: When the Haar Rolls In (Domino/EMI)

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James Yorkston: Tortoise Regrets Hare
James Yorkston: When the Haar Rolls In (Domino/EMI)

For someone who makes the only kind of alt/indie.folk music I like and respect, I'm astonished this Scottish singer-songwriter with all the right connections for me (Beta Band, KT Tunstall, Bert Jansch, John Martyn, opening for Turin Brakes, Lambchop and Tindersticks) seems to have largely gone past me.
He has released three studio albums (some live ones too I think?) and prior to this I'd only heard his The Year of the Leopard of about two years ago which was exceptional -- yet for some reason I failed to post it at Elsewhere.
More fool me, because this new album made pull that one out again -- and once again I want to hear more from this man who was born in Fife and has returned there after a brief and quite high-profile period in the post-folk scene in Edinburgh.
With this engaging album -- augmented by strings, vibes and the like -- he seems content to continue along the same low-key but much acclaimed path with lyrically allusive folk-pop notable for its emotional intensity, wry and poetic observations and self-reflective observations.
Here's a quote by Philip Selway of Radiohead (of all people/bands in this context!) which sums it up.
"For me, listening to James Yorkston's music is like coming across the interesting-looking person on the fringes of a party. Before you know it, you've spent the evening listening to their compelling tale. In this record, I get a real sense that he has found his true voice. There's a quiet confidence in his craft; his singing, the words and instrumentation, all blend seamlessly to produce a really affecting record."
By the way, for those who don't know, the "haar" in the album title is the damp and rolling fog which comes in from the North Sea across coastal west Scotland.
Sort of sends you indoors.
To write, maybe?

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