Every now and again a band arrives on the scene and immediately makes you want to eagerly devour everything they do. For me Fountains Of Wayne, eels, The Divine Comedy and Luke Haines in his many guises are such acts. To that list I’ve added Stornoway. It was apparent as soon as I received their self released Early Adventures EP that this was a rather special band. There’s another thing, where the usual revisionist record company historians have deemed March’s I Saw You Blink as their debut single, discounting the self released three EPs and single. I guess it makes for a better story when a band suddenly appears fully formed. No matter, as many of those songs make up this debut album. After leading off with the bands best known tunes, Zorbing and I Saw You Blink we arrive at Fuel Up which shows another side to the band with a keen ear for a crafted folk pop melody. Fuel Up and the following The Coldharbour Road are gorgeous tender ballads, the former of which comes close to making you cry. We Are The Battery Human is close to a reel, whirling gently around harmonising singing making for a joyous song of hope. Here Comes The Blackout is an optimistic and reflective request for people to love not fight, not some hippy sentiment, rather a lovely gesture. Watching Birds is splendid, motoring along then exploding into a psychedelic out of control carousel chorus, all powered by a hyperactive youth orchestra. Then there is more melancholic beauty in On The Rocks, then The End Of The Movie, Brian’s voice quivering with emotion as the song swells to a sumptuous chorus, all gorgeous strings and harmonies. If you’re one of the people who have joined the massed infatuation for Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling, please check out this album, it surpasses them and then some. Album of the year so far, and I honestly can’t see anything catching it.
Beachcomber’s Windowsill is released by 4AD on 24th May
Stornoway myspace is here