I‘ve been waiting for Will Oldhams latest album ‘Is it the Sea?’ to arrive for what seems like a long time. Ever since I heard that the album featured recordings of his live tour back in 2006 of Ireland and Scotland accompanied by Scottish folk band ‘Harem Scarem’. Well, an advanced copy did hit the doorstep. In short, if you are a fan, get it! You will recognise many of the songs but you won’t have heard them played or sung like this before. With the addition of fantastic female chorus singers, accordion, flute, fiddle Oldham goes to new depths. The much loved track ‘Love Comes to Me’ turns into an upbeat jubilation. The silky female chorus and accompanying accordion and banjo open the track and take you to a dimension of Oldham’s music you’d never have expected. You could dance to this upbeat track for a start.
This isn’t coffee table music for your post-rave generation after dinner guests, this is rousing music and it must have been a very liberating experience for fans that made the tour. As a live album it captures the spirit of the tour. Oldham must have got a huge kick from this. You must try and listen to ‘Molly Bawn’, it’s electrifying, the accordion and flute work wonders in raising crescendos that pinnacles and drops back down again and again. It made me shiver, no wonder the crowd went wild. Without a shadow of a doubt this is a triumphant Five stars!