On his second full-length album, Scottish-by-way-of-Los-Angeles folk singer/songwriter Alexi Murdoch continues to explore a quiet, contemplative style reminiscent of Nick Drake. Another comparison would be the early, folky fellow Scotsman Donovan of "Try for the Sun" and "Colours." Murdoch sets up simple, repetitive fingerpicked patterns on his acoustic guitar, adding quiet horn and keyboard parts in the back of the mix, and over this music he murmurs introspective, poetic lyrics in which he uses typical nature imagery and abstract contrasts (light and dark is a favorite) to reflect on relationships with relatives and other loved ones. This is minimalist music in which the musician, in his words and arrangements, is tracing only the barest outlines, expecting the listener to fill in the feelings he only suggests. It is appropriate that the album ends with the last part of "Crinan Wood," a song that lists at 8:45, although it isn't really any longer, as a song, than the other tracks, it's just that the last three minutes subside into an ambient instrumental, a long, slow journey into silence.
Towards the Sun Review
by William Ruhlmann