When main protagonist Neil Pennycook called time on Meursault in 2014 after three albums proper, fans hoped it wouldn't be the last they'd hear from him. Transforming into Supermoon, Pennycook carried on, but the unexpected resurrection of his former guise has yielded beautiful results.
The reclamation of Meursault with I Will Kill Again feels like a glimpse of hope amidst heartbreak, or rather a story of sufferance coupled with an emerging determination to carry on. The Mill is delicate keys and drifting guitars that cradle an acceptance of the everyday. 'We've seen it all before / I know now what must be done,' proclaims Pennycook with his distinct anguish.
With the humdrum comes realisation and resignation, and another dip into disappointment. Ode to Gremlin is a gorgeous ode to the futility of figuring out heartbreak as he sings, 'The last thing the world needs now / Is another song about the fucking sea.' Written originally as a rock album, the dissolution of Mersault's former live line-up led to the arrangements of the tracks changing over time, and there's a gentle elegance to the songs.
Oh, Sarah is a succinct sea shanty-esque dedication to a fictional ghost, with Pennycook's vocal taking on a distant quality, singing far from the mic with wild intent, whilst Belle Amie slows the pace before his trademark wail is unable to be contained as the track builds. I Will Kill Again has a soaring, filmic quality as its narrator recounts how time changed and dulled affection, while closer A Walk in the Park is a glimmer of tainted, restrained optimism.
I Will Kill Again is a strong first release of the year for Song, By Toad records, from the artist that properly launched the label back in 2008. Filled with majestic, sorrowful beauty and touches of light, it's a welcome return for one of Edinburgh's most treasured acts.
Listen to: The Mill, I Will Kill Again