IoS album review: Villagers, Awayland (Domino)
Sunday 13 January 2013
The cover of Awayland depicts a small child staring at an unspoilt wilderness. Sometimes, the truth is staring you in the face: with its far from cryptic title, the second Villagers album is all about escape, whether in the literal, geographical sense or through reverie and sensation. "Why," it asks, "should we fear what travel brings?"
Like the other Conor (Oberst of Bright Eyes), Conor O'Brien excels in imparting a feeling of intimacy and an eye for detail. In style, however, he's happy to lurch from beauty to bathos: track one ends with the courtly "I'll save all my stories for thee", and track two begins with the squalid "Naked on the toilet with a toothbrush in his mouth..." Perhaps the most significant line, however, is in "Judgement Call" – "We've got to get the kids before they grow/God forbid they retain their sense of wonder..."
Sonically, it's both insistently traditional and unobtrusively modern. It's that rare commodity: an album to immerse yourself in and spend time with, both things no one does any more. It closes with the sound of squealing pigs, bringing to mind the film Deliverance.
Perhaps O'Brien is trying to tell us something: the great outdoors isn't so great after all.
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
- 4 Floyd Mayweather's mouthguard costs $25,000 - enough to fly to Las Vegas and back 18 times
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Daredevil, Netflix, TV review: Marvel wins first fight in bid for television domination with Charlie Cox's superhero vigilante
Grace Dent on TV: Peter Kay's Car Share made me genuinely LOL
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns