James Yorkston and the Athletes
Moving Up Country
From the moment James Yorkston starts to sing — or mumble, as it may be — you know you’re in for something truly special. Equal parts Smog and Leonard Cohen, Yorkston has made an album of lush, wide-open songs, both unpretentious and comforting, with depth and a sense of direction and purpose. Elegant and impressively composed and executed, Yorkston is joined by a truly stunning band, and even the weaker songs — of which there aren’t many — come out looking great. So that the potentially dull “I Spy Dogs,” by way of the entire band’s stupendous performance, turns into one of the album’s most memorable track. Moving Up Country consists of ten tracks of floating and outreaching, ethereal music that still manages to keep it feet solidly planted on Americana soil, and in the process comes up with something truly extraordinary. And the album’s ending — a stunning triumvirate of beautiful, captivating folk songs — offer some of the finest 17+ minutes I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this year.
Domino Recording Co.: http://www.dominorecordco.com