Folk music is having a positive impact on the album climate at the moment, especially those that stand at the gateway to electronic music. Tunng are a recent example, yet they and Fifer Kenny Anderson have been charming fans of both sides of the laptop for some time now.
Anderson, whose most popular moniker is King Creosote, stands at the junction of the two types of music without being obviously electronic. Yet only ten seconds in to Bombshell, it’s possible to see how he could appeal to connoisseurs of downtempo dance music.
Leslie is a brave album opener, and looking at the album cover you can almost imagine Anderson standing with his back to the listener, singing the pointedly poignant lyrics with little more than an accordion and a string section for company.
In fact the two most emotive tracks bookend the album, with And The Racket They Made at the other end providing the record’s summation. In between we have frequent glimpses of Anderson’s humour, light self deprecation, insights into relationships and feelings, and more than a few silly song titles. Cowardly Custard, for instance. Apply a Fife accent and it all makes sense!
And as for the lyrical gems, there are many. You’ve No Clue Do You makes a memorable reference to Professor Plum, while the jaunty riff to Nooks preludes a wonderfully joyous song, with Anderson musing that “this is me just sitting here, with my head just full of her, I can’t think to tie my boots, can’t think to dye my roots”. The following Now Drop Your Bombshell is completely opposite, stark and thought-provoking.
Sometimes Anderson sounds like a Fife version of Badly Drawn Boy, but only in brief snatches – the easy amble of Cowardly Custard could almost be from About A Boy, even with it’s enjoyably stunted accordion solo.
Yet no-one can boast his voice, a deceptively rich tenor that can soar with more than a little fragility, or secure surprising richness of tone in the lower registers. His style is directly to the listener, clearly sung and with raw, unaffected emotion. This may not be a political album – its title implies it might be – but it’s a record that will form a connection with anyone that hears it.