Blueflint – Maudy Tree
Blueflint's debut album, High Bright Morning, was deservedly lauded for its assured rustic charm. Maudy Tree draws, like its predecessor, upon bluegrass and Americana roots, yet the central vocal interplay between Deborah Arnott and Clare-Louise Neilson has clearly evolved, as taut double-bass loops from Hugh Kelly interlock with Roddy Neilson's fiddle and vocals to open up new spaces for the Edinburgh group.
Jaunty refrains on the scrapes of failed love (Missed The Boat and P45) reveal flickers of sardonic wit, counterbalancing the more delicate, sombre reflections here. Issuing from the pressing sense of a harsh, east-coast winter ahead, Light In The Window's lucid tale of office humdrum sets up the disconcerting gloom of the title track perfectly. By turns sprightly and pensive, this impressive second album consolidates the virtues of a compelling band and keeps us locked in for future melodic adventures.