Scottish traditional singer Alasdair Roberts' new self-titled album is will be unveiled on Tuesday, January 27th, but as those few days might very well mark a time between feast and famine - and since we prefer that no fans of modern folk music die on our watch- a second preview track from the record was premiered earlier this week on NPR!
While it may be a bit late to celebrate the Harvest moon, "In Dispraise of Hunger" provides bountiful warmth amongst the frozen January landscape. Lyrically, Alasdair shares the gratitude found in small communities for the plentiful graces to bring comfort "of the belly and of the soul." His melody ascends to new levels with the addition of vocal group The Crying Lion (featuring Trembling Bells' lead singers), bringing a striking British warmth in support of Alasdair's blurry lead. The touch they bring, along with the bass clarinet of Alex South are but a sample of the many well-crafted, powerful moments in store throughout the album.
With his eponymous new LP, Alasdair has made his most personal record in years- if not ever. Longtime listeners will recollect the tender musings of Farewell Sorrow and The Amber Gatherers, but over the course of his recent releases Spoils and A Wonder Working Stone, Ali has pursued a grand arc of post-modern traditional songwriting, which he has typed as "syncretic." Following a journey through sound and vision worthy of Odysseus, Alasdair settles comfortably into austere tales of introspection on this new album, merging an astonishingly deep understanding of traditional song with meditative phrases and arranging the material around his alternately tender and incisive voice and guitar.