on 23 April 2009
Part of the Wilkommen Collective, including Ivor Novello-nominated The Leisure Society, Sons of Noel and Adrian mix members with the treasure, flotsam and jetsam from the undertow of Brighton's folk and alt-folk music scene.
If there is any justice, they should catch the wave of public adoration that Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes are currently riding.
Quiet, darkly beautiful paeans to love, brooding and ferocious emotion, many of their songs feel like they have been made from the lost dreams of ageing mariners. Jacob and Tom's gentle guitars lead a motley mix of accordian, cello, violin, double bass, trumpet and whistlers to rousing, crashing, clever, anthemic crescendos, and back down to mesmeric solace.
Jacob's rough-edged voice, reminiscent of Bonnie Prince Billy and a quieter Caleb Thorowill (Kings of Leon) truly pulls at the heart, as it twists and flutters over sweet-toned, classically-influenced arrangements.
The Sons sound part gypsy, part pirate, part late night absinthe drinking den.
Astonishing, necessary music to gently haunt the soul.
on 23 December 2009
On paper I should love this album given the ensemble of collaborators, and yet somehow I struggle with it. The instrumental aspect and arrangements are fantastic. It's just I can't get over the lead vocal style, which can be recreated by doing a ghostly moaning sound and rapidly and repeatedly hitting yourself in the Adams apple.
I have found that listening to the tracks one at a time or mixed in with a playlist is the best way, as otherwise the vocal affectation makes 80% of the songs sound the same just with different instrumental melodies.
I do like it, don't get me wrong, but I can't see me falling in love with the album in the same way as a Fionn Regan or Leisure Society LP.