Album: British Sea Power, Man of Aran, Rough Trade

British Sea Power pay tribute to the power of the British sea
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The Independent Culture

Recording a new soundtrack to Robert J Flaherty's 1934 docu-drama about the life of fishermen on a chain of remote, sea-battered Irish islands is the sort of thing only British Sea Power would even consider doing.

Indeed, the film, which won the Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival (and comes included on this double disc), chimes perfectly with BSP's fascination with lost ways of life, the epic might of meteorological forces, and forgotten corners of the history and heritage of the British isles.

Although they're best known for their stirringly anthemic indie rock, Man of Aran is the other side of BSP. Their score is, by its very nature, incidental and as functional as titles such as "Spearing the Sunfish" would suggest. It's also quite beautiful: shimmers of guitar effects, serene and tranquil pianos, penny whistles, cellos, glockenspiels and harps all twinkling like sunlight on the waves. And it features a folk duet, "Come Wander with Me", which is sufficiently haunting to deserve a place in the BSP canon proper.

Pick of the album: The finely titled finale, 'No Man Is an Archipelago'