It says something about the quality of the debut album by Belfast-based Arborist that Kim Deal’s appearance on Twisted Arrow is merely one of many high points. Still, getting Deal to sing a duet on the album was a coup, and a surprising one: Arborist do not sound obviously influenced by Pixies or the Breeders.
Home Burial’s gently acoustic arrangements are easy on the ear – it’s tempting to simply luxuriate in the oaky warmth of The Force of Her Will, the crescendos of Broken Light or the slide-guitar Americana of Rules of the Burial. But there are depths worth exploring. The spare singing of Arborist main man Mark McCambridge, together with the economy of his lyrics, which dwell on success and failure and the passing of time, bring to mind Leonard Cohen or Bill Callahan. In particular, A Man of My Age feels like an instant classic: it has the world-weariness of the Go-Betweens, its quivering strings hanging like a question mark over the melody.