EP review by KevW
More folky bird-based frolicking around? Ah go on then. Hot on the talons of our Sootytern review earlier this week come the less exotic but more gracefully named Albatross Archive, another bunch of nature lovers with a penchant for organic sounds and wooden instruments. The quartet are equal parts English and Welsh but have chosen to roost in the Welsh capital and ply their trade in natural and acoustic music that mixes modern folk with just a hint of alternative/indie sounds creeping in. There are no Mumfords type anthems or Stornoway-esque Luddite tendencies. Fuelled by those great power sources used by hollow instrument lovers everywhere - tea and chatting nonsense - their music flits around in a slightly light-hearted manner, incorporating the odd unexpected sound and quirky twist.
The four tracks on this EP show that while they may be serious about music, they're also in it for the pure enjoyment and fun and aren't afraid of a playful moment or two, such as the trilling flute (possibly) and lyrics to 'Sodium'. They even flirt with jazz on 'King Of Hearts' with its sax and piano intro, and 'Illustrations' manages to take in folk, jazz, music hall, indie, barbershop and more. They're not working the formulas that's for sure. Topping the podium is the wonderful psych-folk of opener 'One By One' with its briskly strummed guitars and dancing voices. It's well thought out and well carried out, as is the EP as a whole. Birds in band names then: The Incredible Flight Of Birdman, Sootytern, Shearwater, Bowerbirds, Ladyhawke, The Mynabirds... all good, but we'll draw the line at The Eagles.
Albatross Archive's website
Stream or download the EP
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