Stornoway: Tales from Terra Firma (4AD)

 |   |  <1 min read

Stornoway: The Bigger Picture
Stornoway: Tales from Terra Firma (4AD)

The Anglofolk 2012 debut album Beachcomber's Windowsill by this Oxford group (named for a small town in the windblown Outer Hebrides) didn't quite cut it with its folksy pop and songs about bird watching, or people preferring to watch television rather than roaming free.

Just seemed a bit twee and earnest.

However here they paint with bigger brushes and aim for spiritually-imbued grandeur and romanticism with memorable pop choruses which more properly evoke the great outdoors they so clearly yearn for.

They even throw in a little woozy folk-into-cabaret on The Great Procrastinator and that shot of humour is also welcome.

Lyrically they also go for the big sweep (getting married by the sea in the uplifting opener You Take Me As I Am) but also paint engaging small details: Trees with “the last of the leaves clinging on like my mother's hand, cold as the sandpaper wind on my cheek” in the old-school acoustic folk of November Song.

These are songs about the gift that love is, of the natural world and a celebration of both.

Rare topics today, but not twee at all.

And with memorable melodies

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Levi Patel: Affinity (Marigold)

Levi Patel: Affinity (Marigold)

Elsewhere has had such a long love affair with the restful and imaginative qualities of intelligent ambient music that we hesitate to mention just how long . . . but there are articles about... > Read more

Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly: Peter Pears; Balinese Ceremonial Music (Nonesuch/Universal)

Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly: Peter Pears; Balinese Ceremonial Music (Nonesuch/Universal)

Cards on the table now, this I like . . . but I just don't get it.The title is the first problem: Peter Pears; if you know him at all it is as a long-dead classical singer/composer. And is this... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GARETH LIDDIARD OF THE DRONES INTERVIEWED (2013): Existential and everyday horrors

GARETH LIDDIARD OF THE DRONES INTERVIEWED (2013): Existential and everyday horrors

Australia's outsider rock band The Drones – essentially a vehicle for singer-songwriter Gareth Liddiard aka Gaza – have survived against the odds. They've been through changes of... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tommy Emmanuel

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Tommy Emmanuel

Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is no stranger to New Zealand's shores and nor should be because he was for a long time a near neighbor. Born in New South Wales 60 years ago, Emmanuel rose... > Read more