Richard Youngs has chosen NOW to make the best album of his life???! The damned inconvenience!
Yes, this is a gobsmackingly beautiful, searching, soul-nourishing free/chamber-folk epic from the Scotch starsailor (not the Scotch Starsailor arf!) which has me reaching for comparisons I never dreamed I’d have cause to wheel out in 2020 - we’re talking world-weary existential song-cycles/suites of the profundity and magnitude of Roy Harper’s Stormcock or Bill Fay’s Time of The Last Persecution; John Cale’s Island years; Nick Drake at his most strung-out and self-inspecting; Robert Wyatt in the warm reflective rueful mode of Comicopera or Cuckooland. Fuck! Immense credit to Spanish multi-instrumentalist/lightning-rod Raül Refree, who comes over like a one-man Pentangle, his sensitive, jazz-inflected fingerpicking, languid double bass and hypnotic percussions effortlessly unlocking the pastoral-psych solid-air sublime and allowing his collaborator to soar regally in and around it. Just amazing.