There is a cock-sure romanticism to this record that hasn’t been heard since about 1970
Maudlin, self-indulgent, a bit one-paced and very much in love with Walker, Brel, Wyatt, Hanlon and nodding now and again towards James Yorkston’s muse, this is nonetheless a marvellous work and one you should all get.
Season of the Sparks possesses lush moments that take your breath away; The Beekeeper’s Wife is beautifully orchestrated, Scott 4 style with Crowley’s clear, sympathetic vocals providing a magnificent companion to the strings. There is a cock-sure romanticism to this record that hasn’t been heard since about 1970; The Wishing Seat with all its medieval frippery is the great lost Gainsbourg track whilst the title track and Liberty Stream sounds as if 1969 has never gone away.
It must be said that the vocals are arresting throughout the album; their unassuming nature, and the dogged insistence of pronouncing every syllable makes for a remarkable listen. Maybe that’s why this hack reaches for the Scott Walker references come in; listening to Squeeze Bees conjures up images of Boy Child or Big Louise…
A beautiful, beautiful album.