JAMES YORKSTON & THE ATHLETES & KING CREOSOTE & LONE PIGEON – St. Patrick [Domino]

It is an admitted stretch to file such retiring, tender Scottish folk under “lost soul”, but as discussed and demonstrated over this last year of weekly posts, intermittent podcasts and a shamefully singular archive piece, the Hidden Crate is nothing if not a broad church.

James Yorkston has long been my go to man for quiet reflection – much to the chagrin of V who laments the extended spells of introversion often brought on by visits the “miserablist music” section. A humbly masterful songwriter with close ties to Anstruther’s Fence Collective and their prolific figurehead King Creosote, Yorkston peddles a gentle yet stirring seaward strand of contemporary folk. Eyes forward, ears back.

A hard time was had settling on one track to highlight but ‘St Patrick’ was my introduction to the man and his ever-reliable assemblage of accomplished musicians, and seems a good entry point for the general uninitiated. If songsmithery is, by and large, fixated with ideas of love – particularly its all-consuming early stages – I can think of no other that better describes that first wistful dream of burgeoning infatuation.

And dream is the word. Waking to find yourself adrift on an enticing but unknown sea of possibility, ‘St Patrick’, like much of the Fifer’s oeuvre, marries an eye for magic in the mundane with romantic ruminations transcending the literary and bordering on the mythic.

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