James Lindsay – Strand

Album Review by Harry Harris | 26 May 2017
Album title: Strand
Artist: James Lindsay
Label: Oir Recordings
Release date: 2 Jun

Glasgow bassist James Lindsay is well known in the folk world, playing with the likes of Treacherous Orchestra, Breabach, and Bella Hardy. However, on this, his debut album, he brings in influences from jazz, post-rock, boogie-woogie, metal and avant-garde music, producing a gorgeous suite of instrumentals. 

Strand is defined as one of three things: the land bordering a body of water, one of the elements interwoven in a complex whole, or simply 'sea' in Scottish dialect. This is definitely a jumping-off point for Lindsay, and indeed many of the tracks have oceanic titles, but what's refreshing is the sense of light and shade across the record. Lindsay doesn't stick to one idea, he explores many, and manages to mould it into a whole. This is best represented on Stackswhich sets up some nice folky themes with fiddle and bass, before eventually descending into something a lot darker and heavier. 

Though it's Lindsay's name at the top, and his compositions, this is a collaborative record featuring some really exceptional musicians. On The Silent Spring, Ben Macdonald is given the space to flourish with a really exceptional guitar solo, featuring some beautiful phrases and all underpinned by a gorgeous tone. That's one commonality across this record – everything sounds beautiful, the warmth and warble of the Fender Rhodes, the percussive breath of the flute, and Lindsay's own double bass grooving in the pocket underneath. 

Listen to: Shallow Firth, The Silent Spring