Rick Redbeard – No Selfish Heart
Rick Anthony’s intentions with his piratical alter-ego Rick Redbeard were laid out earlier this year via his split single with Adam Stafford, another wayward soul of the Scottish indie music scene. Anthony’s effort, Now We’re Dancing, followed a more traditional path of finger-picked guitar and folk confessional than might have been expected by fans of his work elsewhere, but it provides a suitable blueprint to this long-incubating debut.
Yet at the same time it’s not the huge leap from his role as The Phantom Band’s frontman that it may at first seem; at their heart, The Phantoms tend to opt for a dark folk, sea-shanty core amidst all the sonic experimentation and in that respect, No Selfish Heart could be seen as Redbeard pulling back the curtain. It works too, Anthony no longer the menacing harbinger of yore, more a gentle, yearning soul on the wistful Kelvin Grove and the simple yet beautiful send-off of the album’s title track. Avast ye landlubbers. There be treasure here.