Monday, 29 June 2009

Julius – Shepherdess

The new album from Julius, aka Matt Adams is a mammoth twenty track affair, and at times the strain does begin to show. It starts with Jane Eyre a hypnotically charmed instrumentally, slightly medieval, but infinitely bucolic. The title track tinkles by, Matt sounding like an old sage in a hippyish surrounding, holding court. Wandering would hold up well with much of Iron & Wine’s stuff, although Matt’s voice has an incredible warble, wavering delightfully all over the place. Tread Lightly is expertly picked wandering minstrel time, while Instant Start is a clockwork pub singalong, open fires and arran sweaters all round. Bees whirrs and clicks and sparkles and is a backwoods delight, bright and breezy and clappy. Anne Frank is another sumptuously picked out melody, gentle and sweet. Although we’re barely half way through, I’m wondering if something so lovely but consistent can sustain over the album, without getting repetitive or boring. Road is making me have these doubts. Things improve with My Lovely Boy, a sweet lolloping thing, like sitting by a gently rushing stream in the woods. Dark Days is a hand wringing Bon Iver spiritual, A Man Alive is a brittle wee thing and then the cyclic folk of Separate ends the album. There are some great moments here, but you may want to be selective and cut it down to half of this. Not that there’s anything poor, its just similarity breeds contempt.

You can download the album for free from his myspace

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