Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Stornoway – I Saw You Blink

And Almost-All-Country Tuesday ends with what can only be described as the ‘almost’ bit…


Martin Skidmore: If you’ve been thinking “I really miss James, but I wish they had emphasised their folky tendencies more”, you’re in luck. I had not been thinking that. This lot have stiffer singing and a weaker song. It’s hard to resist saying Stornaway are wet and windy — some bands ask for it.

Matt Cibula: Is this post-jangle? Am I insane for thinking that these guys might be the mutant cloned offspring of the Proclaimers? Is it okay if I like this a whole lot but would probably never really want to hear it again?

Ian Mathers: This is completely harmless, for better or worse. Mostly worse; it has all the emotional impact of a random Livejournal entry, and unless you really love the idea of a neutered Frightened Rabbit I don’t imagine the music will do much for you either.

Anthony Easton: I am a sucker for this kind of semi-folk indie nonsense, and the lack of propulsion in a song that is mostly about trains adds to the isolation and loneliness of it. There should be more songs about missing trains!

Chuck Eddy: A popwise brightness and remnants of ancient Anglo-folk melody coalesce into a reasonable Big Country facsimile on climactic notes, ensuring these buskers don’t come off absolutely wretched.

Michaelangelo Matos: At first I thought British Fleet Foxes, with a catch: not hippies. But that’s just the a cappella opener and the bursting harmonies of the chorus. This is folk-pop so bright and perky it can grate — the “mm-mm-mm” of the run-up to the refrain, for instance. It’s so polished it can seem merely calculating. The lyrics aren’t much. But damn if I can stop playing the thing.

3 Responses to “Stornoway – I Saw You Blink”

  1. I almost mentioned the Proclaimers too, actually.

    Anthony, do you know the song “I Miss A Lot Of Trains” by Tom T. Hall? You’d love it. Its title works both ways!

  2. Chuck

    I totes know that song, and it is fan-fucking-tastic.

  3. Completely disagree. I think Stornoway are the ones to watch. ‘I saw you blink’ could be as difficult to get outta your brain as The Beatles’ “Yesterday”, Lennon’s “Imagine” and a host of others. The musical structure is way more intelligent than anything out there in this genre. These guys are either born naturals or are very, very up on their music theory and structure.