CD OF THE WEEK
SPOOL Spool Patchwerx Records ★★★★
Whose interest wouldn’t be piqued by a band who cite Aphex Twin and Joni Mitchell on their barometer of influences? Step forward Spool, a Dublin four-piece that might just be the city’s representative in the future folk movement. Most of us have good reason to scoff at Johnny-come-lately sub-genre pigeonholes, often conjured up as tricksy marketing ploys. Here, though, the hype paints an accurate picture of a hybrid that blends traditional compositional elements with contemporary bells and whistles. Spool subtly borrow from the past while updating their musical metaphors: so you get reams of melody, and echoes of Vashti Bunyan vocals, while their electronic airs revolve around a post-folk fulcrum of bleepy nuances, guitars, shimmering violins and twinkling piano.
Instant comparisons will be made to Psapp or a more orchestral Tunng, but vocally there’s a retrospective hint of All About Eve, thanks to Martina Gaffey’s soft, soulful tones, notably on the lonesome Facelines. Her brother Sean is equally at home in front of a microphone, taking charge of lead vocals on Where the Air Is Rare and harmonies on Raining. The latter is an undisputed highlight, built on a foundation of insistent clicks and sultry arpeggios courtesy of Conor Hayes’s programming.
Each track bends and weaves, upturning many surprises: the dubby trumpet stabs of Swallow, a mournful lapsteel on Raining, the shuffled percussion of Where the Air Is Rare. Hypnotic and original. www.spooltheband.com