King Creosote - Astronaut Meets Appleman - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

King Creosote - Astronaut Meets Appleman

by David Bruggink Rating:8 Release Date:2016-09-02

I was first introduced to King Creosote through his charming, bucolic little album created with electronic maestro Jon Hopkins, Diamond Mine. While only a scant seven tracks long, it was more than enough to enamor me of this honey-voiced Scot  (real name, Kenneth Anderson), who has apparently released dozens upon dozens of albums, many of them on CD-R. While his discography might seem a bit overwhelming, Astronaut Meets Appleman, like Diamond Mine, provides a fine entry point to an artist that upends your expectations of the typical "singer-songwriter" folkie.

The sound of Astronaut Meets Appleman is that of a quite talented troubadour elevated with rich and captivating arrangements. Though 'You Just Want' starts with a solemn and solitary acoustic guitar, it soon blossoms into a driving track with a post-punk edge, anchored with mournful strings but buoyed by lush harp. It's a somewhat serious start to an album that is often nimble and upbeat, and a little bit rough around the edges. Though ornate, it doesn't feel overproduced; you can almost always feel the intimate origins of these songs right beneath the surface, in the form of an acoustic guitar or accordion.

Aside a track that could be a bit divisive, which revolves around a child saying "Peter Rabbit Tea" in a cute fashion (cute maybe for the first one or two times, possibly not the remainder), there are hardly any missteps to be found. 'Wake Up to This' floats by on a Caribbean guitar strum like the spirited pub-hopping anthem of a benevolent pirate. 'Melin Wynt' uses bagpipes prominently to support its dreamy take on indie folk, and comes off as earnest rather than cloying. 'Rules of Engagement' adds a dash of whimsy with its swirling strings and piano, and closes the album on a gorgeously endearing note.

Despite the full arrangements, Kenneth's reedy and beautiful vocals are the main draw here, and you might be a tad disappointed that they aren't presented with the crystalline clarity found on Diamond Mine.

But all the same, you'll probably be eagerly awaiting your next encounter with King Creosote.

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