Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trembling Bells -- Carbeth

Alright, no one but me is paying attention to this Glasgow music, but it just keeps coming, and it's remarkable.

Today's installment: Carbeth, by Glasgow's Trembling Bells. There are elements here that will delight fans of early Fairport Convention's trad rock (count me as one of them) and Devendra Banhart's twisted psychedelic folk (not so much a fan, although I do hear moments of ethereal, weird beauty). More importantly, lead songwriter Alex Neilson has worked with Scots trad troubadour Alasdair Roberts and indie folk hero Bonnie Prince Billy, and he's learned his lessons well, one of them being to find a lovely thrush to give voice to his sentiments. Hey, it worked well for Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny, and it works well here, too. Lavinia Blackwall fills the thrush role quite admirably, and when Neilson does sing, he brings a wobbly, reedy quality that recalls Terry Woods of the Pogues (no, not Shane MacGowan, Terry Woods), and that is the ideal foil to Blackwall's folky perfection.

This is a wondrous album, easily one of my favorites of the year.


MSK said...

I'm certainly glad you've been following them. Haven't had a chance to download the bands you mentioned the other day from emusic, but Frightened Rabbit's Midnight Organ Fight has been in heavy rotation ever since you mentioned the group last year. So keep it up!

Andrew said...

I'm paying attention. Not a fan of The Twilight Sad, but I really liked Frightened Rabbit's Midnight Organ Fight (and the live Liver! Lung! FR!).

I started listening to We Were Promised Jetpacks last week. It's been a mediocre year so far for new music, in my opinion, but they might have the best album so far.

Anxious to hear Trembling Bells. Doesn't look like they're on emusic - hopefully soon.