Album Review: Stornoway – Beachcomber’s Windowsill

By on Tuesday, 22nd June 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

If there’s one, spine-tingling album so for this year that can stop the world, if only for a split second, then welcome “Beachcomber’s Windowsill” to your ears and hearts. Having only been recently released, the album paints narrative tales in colors that everyone can relate to: love, life, a simpler time, hangovers. You get the picture.

What makes this piece of well-chiseled piece of work so pleasing to the senses is the way each song is dipped in a little folk, dabbed with some soul and yet still carries the cool calmness of sensible pop. It’s delivered to you from Stornoway, an Oxford-based band that sound like nothing else of late.

Take for example, album opener Zorbing, where reflective lead singer Brian Briggs trills of “Conkers shining on the ground,” and soon finds himself backed up with harmonized vocals guitar strums and ending with a tasteful blast of a trumpet. Strings, brass, solid singing. It’s all in this song.

Just when you thought a song couldn’t get much get better, guaranteed single, “I Saw You Blink” spills in to the frame, continuing on in same exuberant style as the previous tune. Again, it kicks off with Briggs delivering noticeable vocal lines and then transforms into a track of accessibility and imagination, one of several which deserve multiple repeats.

Breezy laments such as “Fuel Up” and “We Are The Battery People’ sway towards the simpler way of life. The former, for example, indirectly suggests an escape from the modern world, while the latter is a blatant view of humankind hooked to the wires of the world wide web. Both tracks are laden with clean sounds, and in essence could be considered to be stripped down tracks without giving any notion of sounding dull.

Keeping in tune that real musicians wear their hearts upon their sleeves, “The Coldharbour Road” and LP closer, “Long Distance Lullaby” show the band bringing a medley of string sections being backed up keyboards and banjo strumming, while the lovely crooning of Briggs – “I’ve missed you ever since you moved away from here” – who often times sounds reminiscent of veteran vocalist Tim Booth from indie folk-rock band James.

With nearly a dozen songs flowing so smoothly on “Beachcomber’s Windowsill”, it’s easy to want more from one of the most unique and refreshing bands to date. Chances are however, that once people’s ears catch on to these selection of songs, the international tours will start to be inked in. Not a bad thing at all, of course. Let’s just hope that this brilliant band can also knock out another excellent album at the same time.

Stornoway’s “Beachcomber’s Windowsill” is out now.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjG4dUlucVw[/youtube]

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[…] of brothers have recently released their album ‘Beachcomber’s Windowsill’ that Emmy reviewed last month. The English folk rock scene is getting a wee bit crowded these days, but should you need […]

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