Traditional and untraditional folk combine for an intriguing, engaging EP from one of Scotland's most interesting songwriters
Scottish singer-songwriter Alasdair Roberts has plied his trade of off-kilter folk music for many years. His resonant, sincere vocals intermingle with stream-of-consciousness/unconsciousness lyrics and instrumental quirkiness: finger-picked folk guitar, glitchy electronica, and indie rock noise. His latest, The Wyrd Meme, opens with "The Hallucinator and the King of the Silver Ship of Time", an epic which centers around the idea of a hallucinating woman as the artistic music, while "The Yarn Unraveller" sounds like Unhalfbricking-era Fairport Convention, yearning sentiment and experiment intertwined. "The Royal Road at the World’s End" is another epic based around Roberts’ lyrical explorations of historic folk imagery. The EP’s high point, "Coral And Tar", is a mournful, romantic lament and a paean to human connection as winter closes in. It should be a future live staple. Overall, this EP should serve to convert the unfaithful to Alasdair’s cause.