Album: King Creosote & John Hopkins, Diamond Mine Jubilee Edition (Domino)
It's tempting to suggest that, had King Creosote & Jon Hopkins' original version of Diamond Mine been as substantial as this reissue (which expands it from seven tracks to 13, with no loss in quality), P J Harvey may not have waltzed off with last year's Mercury Prize.
Their evocation of life in a Scottish coastal village weaves Kenny Anderson's songs together with Jon Hopkins' ingenious ambient-music arrangements to create a song-cycle of small events that reflect how "the years go by like sips of water". The original slivers of incident – are joined here by a stargazing reverie, a dispiriting encounter with a prostitute, and a desire "to die while I am still alive", before the glowing instrumental "Starboard Home" brings things to a conclusion with steps in the sand and a susurrus of sea. Perfect.
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