To be delicate and impactive in the same breath is a rare and difficult art, but Scottish singer/songwriter Alistair Ogilvy makes it look effortless within the first 60 seconds of Deep Blue Sea, the opening track of his sophomore effort July Moon. Granted, the addition of some delicious string arrangements from members of the Scottish Symphony Orchestra help ramp up the emotional charge, but it’s the excellence of the base tracks that make the sound of viola et al that little bit more spine tingling.
Recorded at CHEM19 studios, south of Glasgow, July Moon is a pretty much perfect blend of contemporary folk song writing and the sounds of many of the alumni that have graced the nooks and crannies of the aforementioned studios over the last 15 years or so. Throughout the album there are hints of Admiral Fallow and Frightened Rabbit which sit perfectly alongside a songwriting style that shares spirit, if not style, with Roddy Woomble.
The addition of gentle atmospherics that whisper in and out of each track provide an interesting dynamic to the album that again, gives it a very familiar feel for anyone who’s had the pleasure of listening to the aforementioned bands in the past.
Lyrically July Moon is fascinating and is possessed of a genuinely endearing heart-on-sleeve feeling. From the observations on love and loss that permeate the gentle gallop of My Heart Aches to the poetic refrain of the title track, the words are both poetic and heart felt.
The ability that Alistair Ogilvy has to take a genuine sense of tradition and envelop it with a sense of modernity and youthful expression is arguably the most interesting (and exciting) aspect of July Moon and for that reason, if no other, this exceptional artist deserves far more than a passing glance.Rob Fearnley
Released on May 4th 2015 on July Moon records.
1. Deep Blue Sea
2. July Moon
3. Rest and Be Thankful
4. Bottle Of Wine
5. Left Over Shells
6. My Heart Aches
7. You’re Leaving
8. Clasping Sea
9. Aloft The Trees