Sometimes I think that the whole world has been synchronised to a click track and the casual approach to music making back in the day when it was all about the song (man!) had gone the way of the Curly Wurly and vanished from the high streets of life. But perhaps all is not lost as Barbe Rousse – aka Edinburgh-based unsung songster Alasdair Kelly – is happy to present proof that the metronomes have not won the war.
It is true that his album “Misc. Muses” does include more than its fair share of looped moments yet it is not the technology that is in charge here. Barbe Rousse infuses his robotic influences - witness the cutesy sampling that drives “Elephants Don’t Suddenly Disappear” - with the kind of lost in the smoke musical seasoning more usually associated with the folk music thus making his particular plastic jungle a whole lot more colourful and less rigorous than the ghosts in his machine would otherwise demand.
One of the likely side effects of this kind of approach is, of course, the temptation to deep dive into a sea of introspection but, although the temptation is clearly there, the cinematic vista of “Limbo” and the middle of the road maturity of “Train of Thoughts” provide clear evidence that both heart and song have forever escaped the mediocrity of coffee shops and check shirts.
“Misc. Muses” is therefore an album that convinces on continued association and it might even make your day. It would also seem that casual is still the way to go.