James Yorkston And The Athletes – Just Beyond The River

Second album from much-vaunted Edinburgh nu-folkster

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For 2002’s excellent debut Moving Up Country, Yorkston installed ex-Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde at the mixing desk. This time around, the telling enlistment of Kieran (Four Tet) Hebden as producer has resulted in a more lissom approach that adds soft lustre without sacrificing the intimacy of the previous record. Vocally, he’s closest to the autumnal weariness of Fence Collective team-mate Lone Pigeon, but the songs are as rounded as anything on John Martyn’s Bless The Weather. Teased out by accordion, “Shipwreckers”is typical, as is the fireside blush of “Surf Song”, but “Hotel” is the blackly enticing centrepiece, adorned with lovely drips of banjo and acoustic scrape.


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