Perennial underachievers I Am Kloot are back with a new album, their fifth so far. The underachieving is not necessarily down to them, but the failure to connect than with anything but a hardcore following. Of course, the fanatical should be enough in itself. In the past I’ve heard the odd track but never been inspired enough to investigate further. However if any album should be the one that gives them access to a wider following, it’s this one. Northern Skies is Nick Drake fronting Elbow, a simply sublime and beautiful pop song. To The Brink follows, another sumptuous Northern pop song. String laden and reminiscent of Richard Hawley, it also reminds of Elbow, whose Guy Garvey and Craig Potter are on production duties. It’s only when we get to track 4, the bluesy Lately that the quality dips. It’s something that wants to be really soulful, but ends up a bit turgid. When they follow it with a lovely acoustic number like I Still Do, you wonder why they found the need. There’s then a selection of songs when they go all muso and bland on us, which is a major disappointment. There are too many songs that seemed to have been noodled away at in a dark smoky room. Radiation is a rather splendid thing, soulful vocals and a beautiful melody that build in a way like the Polyphonic Spree but uncluttered by excess instruments. Same Shoes wraps up the album in melancholy fashion.
Sky At Night is an odd album, at times brilliant, emotional and catchingly melodic, at others over wrought and dull. It’s well worth wading through to seek out the good bits though.
Sky At Night is out now
I Am Kloot website is here