Awe­some mu­sic from the ar­chives: ‘When the Haar Rolls In’ - James Yorkston

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TICKET STUBS - Donal Di­neen

The Haar is a very fine mist which rolls off the North Sea and onto the coast­line of the East Neuk of Fife in Scot­land. The word is also used in the area as a eu­phemism for the blues.

James Yorkston knows all about the va­garies of the same fog. He hails from the vil­lage of King­barns which is of­ten shrouded for days on end.

From the start of his solo ca­reer in 2002, Yorkston has al­ways been a valiant ex­plorer of the darker side of the hu­man con­di­tion. He writes with con­sid­er­able skill and un­spar­ing hon­esty on themes of love, loss, fear and re­gret.

It’s com­mon ground for singer-song­writ­ers to mine yet Yorkston sounds like no one else but him­self. He seems to work best in un­favourable weather con­di­tions and this record sets a new high wa­ter mark for his song­writ­ing prow­ess. It takes con­sid­er­able skill and de­ter­mi­na­tion to con­sis­tently con­vey in the most in­ti­mate terms the com­pli­cated work­ings of the heart with­out re­sort­ing to cliche, but this he does with aplomb. There are many other strings to his bow. His way with melody and feel for ar­range­ments is equally finely tuned.

Across his eight stu­dio records, close at­ten­tion has al­ways been paid to sonic de­tail. He has worked with a dif­fer­ent pro­ducer ev­ery time but this is the only record where he took com­plete con­trol him­self and the re­sults are stunning. It’s blessed with the kind of warmth that can stave of a chill from the wettest sea fog any old day.

The ti­tle track off When the Haar Rolls In is an ele­giac paean to the re­demp­tive power of mu­sic. We can all count our­selves lucky that we’ve got re­course to it when the fog de­scends:

That’s when the mu­sic, I swear, gets me through, I close my eyes and ev­ery­thing is OK.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.