Album Review – Stornoway


Stornoway -‘Beachcomber’s Windowsill’ (4AD)

OK, this has been a out for a while. But I’d decided – cautiously- to give it a listen and whether they deserved the adulation that the four piece band from Oxford, named after a Scottish town on the Isle of Lewis were getting.

The answer is -unequivocally -yes. This album not only has gorgeous songs, but in the spirit of the DiY age that we find ourselves in, in this new age of austerity, they mostly recorded it themselves. It’s not only this that they have in common with the likes of Aberfeldy, it’s the fact that this is chamber pop at its’ very finest. It’s a folky take on the sound of c86, that comes from the heart. No windowdressing, no mucking about, just honest-to-goodness songs.

Sure people have compared them to Mumford & Sons (and there are worse bands to be compared to). But much as I like that album, I’m falling head over heels in love with this. What’s impress is is just how many awesome tracks there are, and how they flow together yet remain distinctive at the same time. The banjos on ‘We Are the Battery Human’ initially took me by surprise, but by the second chorus it felt completely natural. Hopefully by now you’ve heard opening track ‘Zorbing’ but whilst it’s a great starting point, you want to hear this whole album.

Yet again 4AD have come up trumps with yet another amazing act. And whatever happens to them (hopefully worldwide fame and fortune), nothing can take away from the fact that Stornoway have made a gorgeous debut LP.


Beachcomber’s Windowsill is out now on 4AD.

Stornoway -‘Zorbing.’ mp3


Stornoway’s website/Stornoway’s myspace