Mull Historical Society – Wakelines

Mull Historical Society's latest album Wakelines finds frontman Colin MacIntyre in a nostalgic mood and looking back

Album Review by Eala Macalister | 17 Sep 2018
  • Mull Historical Society – Wakelines
Album title: Wakelines
Artist: Mull Historical Society
Label: Xtra Mile Recordings
Release date: 21 Sep

Mull Historical Society’s Colin MacIntyre has been keeping himself busy since releasing 2016's Dear Satellite, having recently published his first children's book (The Humdrum Drum) as well as his memoir, Hometown Tales: The Boy in the Bubble. It’s no surprise then that Wakelines finds MacIntyre in a nostalgic mood and looking back.

The title track opens the album with a dreamy harp, which lures you into the song and the album proper. MacIntyre’s flair for a lyric has rarely been better and it's little surprise that he now spends much of his time penning stories. It’s an introspective record and, although there are flashes of the melodic indie-pop Mull Historical Society are known for, it’s overall more laid-back.

One of the album's standout tracks is 14 Year Old Boy, inspired by the story of his late father wading in from the sea, bringing the mainland to his teenaged son in the shape of a Fender Telecaster held high above his head. To some this looking back to where you grew up may seem strange, but to those who have grown up in the Hebrides, it will seem natural as it's the kind of place that never leaves you.

In his bid to do something new on Wakelines, MacIntyre enlisted the help of Bernard Butler on production duties. "The songs are about family, and home [...] islands, dreams, travel. Fittingly, we recorded the album in Bernard’s home in London and that has left its mark too," MacIntyre says in the album's accompanying press release, "it just all felt right." The erstwhile Suede guitarist has added a welcome polish and gloss to MacIntyre’s folk-tinged tunes, and it seems like diversifying into the written word has sharpened MacIntyre’s creativity.

Listen to: 14 year old boy, Wakelines