Idlewild : Post Electric Blues

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Whilst Brit-pop was still in full-swing, Idlewild were dropping out of art school and ingesting early REM, Fugazi, Meat Puppets, Superchunk, and all those small bands on American indie-rock labels. Whilst considered a safe bet for Blur’s label “Food”, their angular indie rock was more in-keeping with the label’s earlier output of the likes of Crazyhead, Woodentops and Diesel Park West, than Blur’s increasingly faux-cockney “sing-along” style that was to define the Brit Pop sound. Food were engulfed by Parlophone/EMI around the same time as Idlewild’s debut mini LP “Captain” was released, and whilst Blur took on the world, their Scottish labelmates quietly got on with the business of producing astounding indie rock. Angular and edgy, but always full of melody, Idlewild were the critics favourite (Steve Lamacq at Radio 1 leading the pack!)

Fast forward to 2009, and with a brace of massive top ten hit singles such as “You Held The World In Your Arms” and “American English” behind them, endless touring (including some very high profile dates supporting REM, and a few triumphant homecomings at T In The Park, Scotland), alongside 5 hugely successful gold and silver selling LPs, and an outstanding Best Of compilation, their creativity shows no sign of abating, which their stunning new album “Post Electric Blues”.

They’re also a band who’ve grown old gracefully with their unfaltering fan base. As the band and their admirers hurtle towards maturity, so they’ve broadened their musical tastes. Roddy Woomble particularly has spent the last few years (re)discovering the fascinating, indigenous sounds of his Scottish folk heritage, and its knack for compelling story telling which he alongside a collective of musicians, have modernised and perfected. The folk-tinged album “Warnings/Promises”, the band’s last for EMI, struck a perfect balance between the old and new Idlewild songwriting ethic, and was the springboard for Roddy’s superb solo album “My Secret Is My Silence”. Roddy has become part of a burgeoning new scene of modern folk artists including Karine Polwart, Heidi Talbot and not forgetting Kris Drever and John McCusker, who’s album with Roddy, “Before The Ruin”, was a real triumph for the Navigator label, pushing boundaries the likes of Richard Thompson had set over thirty years before.

Post Electric Blues loses none of the power chord prowess of their earlier albums (thanks to legendary rock producer Dave Eringa), but sets new crossover standards. With guest vocals from Heidi Talbot, the multi-part harmonies pay homage to trailblazers such as Fairport Convention without sycophancy, whilst McCusker on violin provides that perfect extra element to “Take Me Back To The Islands”.


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    Post Electric Blues

    DIV020LP
    Single 180g LP
    19th October 2009

    Side 1
    1 Younger Than America
    2 Readers And Writers
    3 City Hall
    4 Bring You Back To Life
    5 Dreams Of Nothing
    6 Take Me Back To The Islands

    Side 2
    1 Post Electric
    2 All Over Town
    3 To Be Forgotten
    4 Circles In Stars
    5 Take Me Back In Time