Sunday, 16 January 2011

David Keenan reviews "Atlas of Hearts" on Volcanic Tongue website

Richard Youngs
Atlas Of Hearts

Apollolaan Recordings APANV-1


Massive new album from Richard Youngs, this time out on acoustic guitar, vocals and string drones. Taking a tangent from his singer-songwriter sides for Jagjaguwar, Atlas Of Hearts reflects more on the form of his earlier New Angloid Sound recording, with a complex, dizzy finger-picking style that is somewhere between Nic Jones, John Martyn and a more UK-centric Matthew Valentine. Indeed, in many ways this is Richard’s deepest pass through UK folk traditions, without ever sounding like a simple revivalist. Rather, he skews the melodies and instrumentalism to better reflect his own take on Angloid form, making beautiful expressive use of overlapping multi-tracked vocals that echo and bolster phantom melodies over tumbling acoustic guitars and even some restrained bursts of fat, almost Takayanagi-style fuzz guitar. No one has furthered British folk traditions in such a personal way as Richard and this is such a magical recording that it sits easily alongside his initial No Fans vinyl run. Beautifully presented by Apollolaan in an edition of only 250 copies with heavy 180g vinyl, insert and hard card sleeves. Highly recommended but better make it fast, this one won’t hang around for long.

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