King Creosote – Astronaut Meets Appleman
Astronaut Meets Appleman has a lot to live up to coming after King Creosote’s breakthrough album From Scotland with Love (2014), as well as his Mercury nominated collaboration with Jon Hopkins, Diamond Mine (2011). But this lush and conflicted record lives up to expectations, harking back to traditional Scottish folk but with the occasional modern twist.
Starting with the seven-minute-long hymnal that is You Just Want, this is a mellow and spacious track that seems to exemplify the feeling of the album as a whole in many ways. King Creosote, aka Kenny Anderson from Fife, presents his torments through a mix of instruments but also through his method of recording, using studios in County Down, the Isle of Mull and Glasgow in order to combine analogue and digital. In doing so he seems to have hit a perfect balance, allowing rough edges and polish to coincide, calling on tradition and innovation.
This versatile approach is continued through the range of instruments that wind around Anderson’s uniquely fay vocals. In the likes of Faux Call, there is a beautiful, resonant cello opening, with such simple and clear drums and bass that they allow the cello space to breath, to expand and flow in an absorbing fashion. Beginning “I’m so sorry I let you down again”, the cello gives way to Kenny’s melancholic list of wishes and apologies, the depth of its sound fitting like a glove to the lyrics.
Moving on through the album, Surface contains a rare bagpipe solo, just one of the traditional Scottish elements King Creosote proudly uses throughout. A highlight of this usage is Rules of Engagement, a subtle and vast sea shanty that swells with its combination of harp, accordion and more cello, which again proves the songwriter’s ability to balance melodies that allow each aspect of a song importance.
From the start to The Long Fade, which fittingly finishes the record and leaves us with a “long silence”, this is a beautifully crafted album, that cements King Creosote as one of today’s finest folk musicians.
Astronaut Meets Appleman is released on the 2nd of September 2016, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for You Just Want here: