CD Review – Joyce the Librarian “They May Put Land Between Us”
Go past the Nu-Folk section and turn right at Lo-Fi
Well; let’s get this out of the way first; Joyce the Librarian is a stupid name for a band; but…..it did make me take notice when I opened the envelope; so perhaps there is method in their madness.
As I listened to the first track; Traps, I had a horrible feeling that this was just going to be an homage to Nick Drake or Sufjan Stevens; but by the time I’d finished listening to the whole album I’d been swept back to the first time I heard the both Cowboy Junkies and Prefab Sprout and was subsequently smitten.
Nothing on THEY MUST PUT LAND BETWEEN US ever gets out of second gear; but that’s the point on this lyrically beautiful work of art; it is what the young people would call ‘music to chill to.’
Every song here will appeal to someone, in much the same way that every Leonard Cohen fan has their own personal favourite; because he wrote it about ‘them;’ if you know what I mean.
Although all the songs were written by Martin Callingham and he sings and plays guitar on every track; I’m not actually sure who else is a member of Joyce the Librarian; as it took 9 people playing an assortment of instruments from acoustic guitars to flugelhorns to create this gloriously simple sound and each individual must be congratulated.
In this vacuous age of downloads and ‘radio hits’ this is one of the few album I’ve heard recently that actually is a complete work; and should be listened to in it’s entirety; just like the good old days.
That said; Follow Me (I’m Right Behind You) offers up divine harmonies and an adorable melody; making it stand head and shoulders above everything else; but only like a poppy does in a golden field of corn.
THEY MAY PUT LAND BETWEEN US straddles the nu-folk and what used to be known as lo-fi with admirable dexterity and I heartily endorse it as it will be perfect listening for both cold Winter evenings and Summer sunsets.