RM Hubbert – Telling the Trees
Telling the Trees marks something of a new chapter for RM Hubbert. His last album, Breaks & Bones, completed what’s now called his 'Ampersand trilogy'; three deeply personal records that channelled grief and depression into something singularly beautiful. Now he’s moving on, but a new chapter doesn’t necessarily mean a clean break with the past. In fact, Hubby pitches Telling the Trees as a deliberate mirror image to the trilogy’s centrepiece Thirteen Lost & Found – a tantalising prospect given that album’s SAY-scooping form.
As before, his choice of collaborators is creatively rewarding. The opener sees author Anneliese Mackintosh spin a wryly apocalyptic tale enriched by rolling, groaning crescendos; next, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror interlinks Anneke Kampman’s vibrant vocals with Hubby’s crisp, percussive playing; and later, The Dog sets Kathryn Joseph’s devastating lyrics to the album’s simplest, most unadorned instrumentation. All in, it’s a diverse, bravura undertaking that sees Hubby not only moving on, but upwards as well. [Chris Buckle]