Alun Woodward – Music From Battle Mountain
It's been seven years since Alun Woodward's last album (2009's eponymous Lord Cut-Glass LP), so the very emergence of Battle Mountain feels like a triumph. Written to accompany David Street’s documentary of the same name (a portrait of celebrated cyclist Graeme Obree during his attempts to break the land speed record), it sees Woodward assume the role of screen composer for the first, but hopefully not last, time.
It figures cycling would be the theme to coax Woodward back into the saddle, given his former band's past intersections with the world of professional pedalling. Bikes aren’t the only echo of those heady days either, with the delicately poised I Was the King sounding beautifully continuous with the peaks of The Great Eastern et al. Surrounding this (almost) solitary song are equally absorbing instrumental pieces, from Black Box’s harmonic drones to the clockwork chimes of In School – all contributing to a soundtrack as creative and distinctive as the man that inspired it. [Chris Buckle]