RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found
First & Last was perhaps ungenerously characterised as a ‘low-key introduction’ to RM Hubbert’s solo methods within these pages as we greedily anticipated its already-in-the-works successor two years ago. While such impatience undoubtedly sold his debut short, Thirteen Lost & Found is certainly the more immediately satisfying volume; where that first release was a straight-up expression of his compositional style, its follow-up adds guest vocals and more varied instrumentation, with wholly positive results.
The credits are a who’s who of Scottish talent, each diversifying Hubbert’s songwriting in their own particular ways – from Aidan Moffat’s characteristically droll contribution to The Car Song, to Alasdair Roberts’ traditionalist take on folk standard The False Bride. An ovation for all concerned, then – yet, unexpectedly, it ends up being the solo, instrumental pieces that impress most. Set amidst this record’s more mixed aesthetic, their expressive qualities are brought sharply into focus, with For Joe the album’s peerless highlight.