Blueflint – ‘Stories From Home.’ (Johnny Rock)
Once again, Deborah Arnott and her partner in crime Clare Neilson have served up a fantastic album. Following from their two previous albums, High Bright Morning and Maudy Tree, the Edinburgh duo have returned with another fantastic album.
Pigeonholed variously (and rather lazily) in with bluegrass and Americana, this album shows that they are continuing to evolve as songwriters. In that time, Clare Neilson as also become a mother and all credit to her that ‘Little Stranger’, one of four songs she contributes to the album, manages to be affecting without being trite about the joys of motherhood. It’s also an upbeat number, which makes a change when so many people of either sex seem to think that the joys of parenthood must be sung as slushy ballads.
Given the album’s title, it’s an album that owes as much to Scotland as it does to any American influences; with the legendary ex-Delgados’ drummer Paul Savage in the producer’s seat (who has also produced the likes of Arab Strap, Franz Ferdinand and Mogwai), and affecting photography of Leith in the accompanying booklet. And it’s always great to hear Scottish bands singing in their own accents.
As well as the aforementioned ‘Little Stranger’ other highlights include ‘This Is A Story’ which sounds like a song The Proclaimers would kill to have written and ‘King Of My Apple Tree’, the latter the album’s opener. It’s so nakedly personal that I can’t help but assume it’s about a personal experience, and it raises the question about whether this is about a present or past relationship? That is, of course, a hypothetical question and yet it’s another demonstration of how emotionally affecting (as opposed to emotionally affected) Blueflint’s records are.
Blueflint have scored a hat-trick of brilliant albums. However long the next one takes, six months or a decade, I’ll be waiting.
Stories From Home is released by Johnny Rock on March 30.