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King Creosote - I Learned From The Gaels EP

  • Written by  Steve McGillivray

Fence Records head honcho King Creosote is back with his first release sans Jon Hopkins, his partner in crime on 2011 Mercury Nominated album Diamond Mine. This time around Fife's finest is dropping four tracks on us that were born in spring 2010, with the exception of 'Little Man' which began life way back in 2001. There are some guests lurking around this EP such as Radio Scotland's Vic Galloway, Domino artist HMS Ginafore, Rich Young (formerly of Dire Straits and Iron Maiden) and Fence artist Gummi Bako.

The EP gets off to a flying start with 'Doubles Underneath'. The tempo is high from the outset, with the rhythm section keeping the momentum going throughout. King Creosote's vocal is really uplifting, while Vic Galloway sits in on backing vocals. It's a shout out to the much maligned 1980s, with KC stating that "it's the one that came before that '90s guff". It's a quick-fire homage to a bygone era that history tends not to look upon too kindly, but KC will tell you differently - I'm guessing he's not a fan of Britpop! 'Near Star, Pole Star', slows things down considerably and is a much more laid back song. Rich Young tinkles ivories, while HMS Ginafore provides breathtaking vocals. They sit somewhere above KC's vocal, which given their angelic quality seems fitting. This is a shimmering, mesmerising journey. As much as the musical is rich and beautiful, it's the vocal performances that really shine.

The pace lifts again on 'Single Cheep', with bass and drums again setting the tempo wonderfully. Again, Uncle Vic pitches in on backing vocals. There's a nice rock n' roll feel to the song, with some very Ray Davies-esque guitar solos in there for good measure. It'll have you on your feet if you don't watch, dancing away in the living room (or was that just me?). Final track 'Little Man' feels like King Creosote doing '90s US indie. There's a great buzz to the guitar, with lots of feedback and distortion, before a clean, thumping bass kicks in with nice crisp drums. There's a nice rocking rhythm to the song. The momentum stays that way until the final 30 seconds, when the producers voice asks for one more crash, which is duly delivered. It's another head nodding, foot tapping, dance round your room song.

The EP really couldn't be more different from Diamond Mine, as these four tracks forego the more minimalist feel to the Mercury nominated album. King Creosote is equally at home in either setting, ably shown on this EP which is pretty upbeat and rocking for the most part - when it does slow down it shows genuine heart and emotion. This is a ridiculously talented man whom the music buying public should celebrate and cherish. Another brilliant release from the man known as Kenny Anderson to his friends.

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