James Yorkston: The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society

(Domino)

James Yorkston fans get their money's worth: dense with dialogue and spanning 16 tracks, the folk songwriter's eighth album feels like an hour with old friends. Produced by Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor, who also contributes vocals alongside fellow Chip member Rob Smoughton, KT Tunstall, the Pictish Trail and Fimber Bravo of 20th Century Steel Band, each song is another drink, another drab tale of morality, or of hope and reflection – all set in a dimly lit bar. Although fairly eclectic, the overarching theme here is kindness, whether it be on the bucolic Feathers Are Falling or The Very, Very Best, a song that could only be written by the wizened hand of a man who's lived through the harrowing and heartwarming. Meanwhile, the truths shared during Broken Wave should provide solace if you're dealing with the loss a loved one. And even if you're not, it's handy to have songs like these in reserve.

Contributor

Harriet Gibsone

The GuardianTramp

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