By: Eric G.
Second full length from this Scottish five-piece follows in the footsteps of Will Oldham’s off-key, personal bouts with demons and the countryside. The music is delicate and bucolic with vocalist Ali Roberts’ soft, folksy vocals warbling alongside sparse instrumentation that features a traditional setup along with cello and flute. The songs are slow to build but the payoff is Roberts’ devastating cadence, which in addition to sounding like a Scottish Oldham also brings early Neil Young to mind.
Roberts stretches out each syllable usually until his voice creaks, which sometimes drops out of key but that only adds to the emotional impact. His lyrics are sad and provincial: “you left your babies/in the rushes/first they curved your back/then your skin turned ashen under them” (“Foundling”). Accents aren’t normally this noticeable but Roberts’ Scottish brogue bleeds into his lilt. The instrumentation is just as beautiful and effective as Roberts’ hushed vocals, lumbering slowly away in the background.
Appendix Out is not what you want to listen to when you’re driving home late at night from an out of town concert because it’s the type of music that makes you stare blankly out the window and forget your name. Music to lose yourself by.