James Yorkston & The Athletes - Shipwreckers (Domino)
UK release date: 14 February 2005
The first track to be taken from the slow-paced but captivating album Just Beyond The River, Shipwreckers is the perfect introduction to James Yorkston's particular brand of folk-edged melancholy. Together with his band, the Athletes, he has produced a gentle melody, peppered with banjo and fiddle, that gradually gets under your skin.
This is a delicate, infectious ballad, lyrically inventive in its tale of two lovers caught in a storm: "As we watched through the glass with towels on our backs, the mischief in our minds whispered in our ears, warm in the body and soaked to the bone, grateful for the rain for driving us back home." Yorkston's deep, rather gruff voice is well suited to this kind of storytelling, his tone warm if slightly monotonous, never overwhelming the music.
A traditional, mellow and moving song, Shipwreckers is a real grower - it weaves a definite spell.