British Sea Power - Man of Aran OST

Album Review by Finbarr Bermingham | 04 May 2009
  • British Sea Power - Man of Aran
Album title: Man of Aran
Artist: British Sea Power
Label: Rough Trade
Release date: 25 May

British Sea Power have always courted tangents. In the past they’ve eulogised ice-shelves and greeted immigrants, but their latest effort sees them digress further into the obscure by providing a soundtrack to a silent 1934 docu-film, Man of Aran. The movie itself presents the hardships of living on Ireland’s Aran Islands through a series of grainy but affecting sequences. Not exactly Hollywood stuff, but poignant nonetheless, and BSP’s soundtrack is respectful of this. Neither sensationalist nor unnecessarily dominant, it’s mostly instrumental; there are flashes of Mogwai (Boy Vertiginous), moments of Hitchcock-like suspense (Spearing the Fish) and some individually lovely compositions, like the title track. The release comes as a package and the audiovisual combination works a treat. As a standalone album, though, Man of Aran is difficult to view as much more than the enjoyable side project it was evidently intended as - BSP indulging their artsy sides before commencing work on album #4.