Saturday, 27 December 2008

Best of 2008: #5 Y'All Is Fantasy Island - Rescue Weekend

Y'All Is Fantasy Island - Rescue Weekend (****)
album review for the skinny

Falkirk resident Adam Stafford seems to be reaching the end of his tether, as he complains, "New fans can't be swayed, promoters will not speak to me unless my profile's raised" on Rescue Weekend's title track. But that song will surely date quicker than a numbered group of revolving singletons, because Y'All Is Fantasy Island's second album confirms Stafford as one of Scotland's best young songwriters. His acoustic-led pleadings focus on murder, social depravity and failed relationships, continuing the fine tradition of Scottish miserablism so ably furthered by his hometown's favourite musical sons Arab Strap. On this evidence Falkirk's favoured-status will eventually change hands to Stafford, whose keen melodic sense brings life to every one of Rescue Weekend's ten songs. Even when he whimpers, "If I wrote my words in blood no-one would notice," the melodrama is tempered by empathy; if new fans still can't be swayed by the languid lilt of lost love lament Flowers and Flesh, the tumbling drums which add unexpected muscle to High Hopes...' gorgeous finger-picking motif, or the wailing horn solos that pierce through two further tracks, then there really would be reason to be miserable. The man Stafford has no reason to bleed yet.

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