Album Review – Ardentjohn

Ardentjohn – ‘Malin Head.’ (Adulation)

So, it’s technically summer, although in the British Isles, that’s always a bit of a gamble if you’re hoping to get decent weather. Still it gives us something to talk about, right? And while Metronomy may have delivered the track of the summer in ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream,’ before long, the nights will be noticeably drawing in, and it will need a suitable soundtrack of Scottish melancholia.

Well, never fear, your next dose of magnificent Scottish melancholia is here. Opening with ‘Magic Everywhere’ the soundtrack is bittersweet, that feeling that things are coming to an end, or at least, not standing still, as long as you might like. And all you can do is revel in the beauty of the sunset, or you might cry. Well, hell, you might just cry anyway. It’s been a long day.

The strength of the opener is such that the title track and ‘I Wasn’t There’ (the latter with a Doves meets Coral feel, for those of you who can still remember 2002), can take a few listens before they gel as much. But like many great albums, this is one where repeated listens reap the benefits within.

Comparisons with Mogwai might not immediately be accurate or entirely spot on, but the ‘gwai can capture an emotion in a way that has a similar feel to this record. And it’s that feel that is also evident in the likes of Frightened Rabbit (sigh), The Blue Nile or Meursault. It’s those acts that show the power of sadness and somehow make it a truly beautiful thing. This is evidenced on tracks like ‘Longing To Fly’ with its repeated refrain of ‘no I won’t be afraid.’ Sometimes it’s all so, well, pretty, like on ‘Daydreaming.’ It’s just such an impressive whole as an album.

Spend forty-five minutes with this album, and the chances are those minutes will be repeated many times over…


Malin Head is released by Adulation on July 12.

1 thought on “Album Review – Ardentjohn

  1. Pingback: Malin Head out now! | Ardentjohn

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