Music is a fantastic thing. It has this power to calm and soothe and help the mind in dark times. Sometimes a record comes along at the right time and helps you relax. Helps you find comfort or peace. Well, for me, two records have come along in the past two weeks, which have helped my mind switch off. Or perhaps not off, but at least onto something more positive and less sad.
This record, by King Creosote and Jon Hopkins is simply stunning. From the first words uttered until the last note played, this is beautiful. Funny thing is, just last week my friend contacted me to tell me to buy it because he thought I would love it. He was not wrong. In fact, I adore it already. I cannot stop playing it. I cannot stop listening.
I like King Creosote. I always have. But whilst I’ve thought that his previous records were good I’ve never thought he was capable of producing something so utterly gorgeous and something that could seep into my soul in such a fashion. So what’s changed?
Well, firstly, I think the inclusion of Jon Hopkins on this record is a master stroke. The King Creosote we know and love is still there – guitars, banjo, accordion, gorgeous voice. However, behind the tunes, between the tunes and all throughout are the beautiful sound scapes and guiding hand of Hopkins. These backdrops not only add something wonderful to the sound of Kenny Anderson’s songs but also give the record an amazing sense of place and an identity. The thought of home, of a wonderful place special to you permeates throughout the record and that has as much to do with the subtle work of Hopkins as it has the wonderful imagery of Anderson’s lyrics and welcoming warmth of the songs. For it’s not all happy happy, joy, joy and yet it never feels like anything other than a record that says “this is me. this is where I belong”.
Secondly, I think the length of this record is absolutely perfect. I’m not even sure it qualifies as an album. Perhaps a mini album or long EP? I don’t know what the qualification is for each but either way it’s the absolute perfect length of record for the music on offer. It drifts by in an instant and is over all too quickly, just for me to skip back to the start and begin again.
It has made me think of home. Of the good times when I was young. Of all the moments that me and my dad shared. Perhaps because KC is from the coast of Fife, a fishing town, not dissimilar to my own upbringing in Broughty Ferry. It certainly has that sense of place attached.
For some strange reason it’s made me feel calm. It’s hard to explain how much it’s helped. But, one thing is for sure; whenever I listen to it I will be thinking of my dad and smiling.
This is a stunning piece of heartfelt music and should be a must for all music fans. Please check it out. Enjoy.