Having taken eight years to follow up their debut (not, strictly speaking, their fault as their sophomore release fell victim to a legal dispute and remains unreleased), the Dundee outfit’s been fairly brisk with only two years gap between that and this, their official third offering.
Although there’s still some country streaks, most evident on the gently loping In Shadows Under Trees and If Ever There Is Gladness, the Byrdsian influences of yore are diminished, as indeed are those of the Beatles, the latter really only apparent on the 60s retro pop of (I’m) Telescoping, and even that has a definite West Coast wash. Singer Andrew Mitchell takes another stab at Orbison with the cascading notes of If Ever There Is Gladness.
Elsewhere, it’s fellow Scots that the album calls most to mind, All Is Forgotten showing a rain-washed streets kinship to Blue Nile while the Fathom Line (a tribute to Dundeed), a trumpet splashed The Genesis and the dreamy Bellefield Moon all share a sensibility with the likes of Teenage Fan Club and Cosmic Rough Riders, all, it should be noted, hailing from Glasgow.
That said, the title track itself basks very much in the glow of their time spent in Spain (where the album was recorded), a warmth reflected in the fact that the vocals are taken by guitarist Alice Marra. They should let her out more often.
An album that finds them moving way from the early influences that defined them, expanding their musical palette without totally abandoning the old brushstrokes, it’s a confident bridge, and it’ll be interesting to hear what surfaces when they finally reach the other side.
Review by: Mike Davies
05/06 – GoNORTH Festival, Hootananny’s, Inverness
06/06 – The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
07/06 – Fat Sams Dundee (Level Two)
13/06 – Broadcast, Glasgow
14/06 – Fyne Ales‘ Fyne Fest, Achadunan
20/06 – The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
21/06 – The Old Bridge, Aviemore
28/06 – The Twa Tams, Perth
04/07 – Iona Village Hall Music Festival
Released on Armellodie, out now