Entrancing Glaswegian folk revivalist

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Alasdair Roberts – Farewell Sorrow

Roberts must wince every time he’s compared with Will Oldham, but the similarity remains on this, his fifth album as either solo artist or pivot of Appendix Out. Besides a similarly faltering vocal style, Roberts presents a myth-ridden, emotionally devious update of British folk music that neatly correlates with Oldham’s makeover of American roots tradition. It’s an effective formula also deployed by James Yorkston, though Roberts steers his gently rippling songs closer to pagan arcana, leaving his “native land clad in birch and rhododendron”, or watching a woman metamorphose into a gosling. Affecting stuff, if not quite a match for the Appendix Out album The Rye Bears A Poison.