The all conquering Mumford and Sons have tended to throw all folky pop bands in their shadow. A lot of great bands have got lost in their wake. One of those Stornoway released the freshest debut lp for years.
Melodies to get lost in and a kind of enthusiastic naivety in the lyrics that can only come from a debut lp.
It has an opening 5 songs as strong as any lp , leading off with the gorgeous Zorbing
"Conkers shining on the ground , the air is cooler and I feel like I've just started uni" with an opening line that mentions conkers and uni , they capture a sense of nostalgia that 20 somethings have no right to
The feeling continues and reaches a peak with Fuel Up. Starting with a sigh it is on old man's song in a young band
And it's nine more years you've been driving now
But tonight you're stumbling through your old town
You met up with a schoolfriend who's still just the same
And you talked all the same shit you talked in those days
And now you're drunk and you're sad for the old times passing you by
For there's no rewind so you might as well play while your time is rolling away
"Home is only a feeling you get in your mind from the people you love and you travel beside"
There is a real sense of innocence in the sing along pop songs but as with the video there is a dark undercurrent
However among the catchy tunes there are a number of gorgeous end of the affair songs
including these 2
Cut through the whimsy and there is a real emotional depth without falling into over sincerity
Boats and trains by Stornoway
You can buy one of the best debut of recent years here.
I've been listening to the just released follow up and it seems more of a grower , more complex but without some of that joyful innocence that made the debut some good