posted December 12th, 2014

As the release date for Alasdair Roberts' self-titled album approaches, excitement's growing among those who've caught a listen. For his eighth album, Ali's turned in a set of songs produced with sparing, yet striking accompaniment - particularly when held up to the dense soundscapes and songic travelogues of his previous album, A Wonder Working Stone, recorded as "Alasdair Roberts & Friends." Stripping back the production for this lot makes sense, as the songs of Alasdair Roberts are among his most pithy, concise and melodious - and dare we say, romantic? The acoustically-captured air of the recording is rich with the sound and the feeling and the vibe as Alasdair spins his tales. We've already leaked "Artless One," so a quick listen to that will get you in the mood in a hurry. But the time between now and January 27th is long, and year's end is a time of introspection - so Alasdair has engaged in a bit of aural self-reflection that fans and friends everywhere are bound to enjoy. Over the past month or so, he's dipped back into his catalog, playing songs from the early Appendix Out days up on through the years, all of them lent itimacy by dint of being performed in homey settings at various times of the day and night. For those who've only caught on to Alasdair in his recent and awesome syncretic period, the vintage cuts here will waft fresh air forth from those former times. Young Alasdair's Pangea of the imagination is populated with heartstruck creatures of mythos traversing far-flung settings - and when performed by 2014 Alasdair, they come out sweet and strong! Highlights include Ali actually strumming his instrument on the winsome "Tangled Hair," and his rollicking solo at the end of the joyous "I Had A Kiss of the King's Hand." Simply beautiful, and a perfect prelude to the pop-folk masterwork of Alasdair Roberts coming next month. Tune into YouTube and check 'em out!

Alasdair Roberts on tour:

12/18/14 The Workman’s Club Dublin Ireland
12/20/14 Dynamo Turku Finland
12/22/14 Pori Public Library Pori Finland
2/27/15 Cecil Sharp House London United Kingdom ‘Border Ballads’ with Kris Drever, Lisa Knapp and Naomi Bedford

Artists in this story: Appendix Out, Alasdair Roberts