James Yorkston & The Athletes - Surf Song / Song To The Siren (Domino)
UK release date: 6 June 2005
Scottish singer/songwriter James Yorkston is slowly but surely building up a growing reputation amongst those in the know. His second album Just Beyond The River was a quiet little affair which was easy to fall in love with - if you haven't yet, here's another reason to investigate it.
Surf Song is just blissful - a romantic exploration of the idealism of a new love affair. "You said you would not hear of my life with some lady/who had cut deep in my heart/And you'd barely even scratch me/But I smiled and said, 'It's early days'". It's beautifully sad and the acoustic backing, including a gorgeously melancholic violin line, just enhances its loveliness.
Even better is Song For The Siren, a version of the Tim Buckley classic which was covered by This Mortal Coil a few years ago. It's difficult to mess up a song like this, and Yorkston gives it the full referential treatment, laying down a traditional folkie approach and keeping the sense of longing and yearning that's so memorable from the original. Another triumph for Mr Yorkston then.