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9 out of 10
Despite the minimal exposure and their deliberately dormant existence, it's still mystifying to consider how a band as fine as Trashcan Sinatras have slithered sleekly under most people's alarm sensor laser beams. Lying low, they've avoided the bright lights to instead work in their own snug world of blissful musical candour, convening sporadically, unbothered by public indifference and keen to create something timeless.
Weightlifting, the last shining example of their craft, emerged 5 long years ago and this album is only the 5th studio release in their 20-year existence but, rare as are, new songs by these gracefully ageing Scots are well worth waiting for.
From the crystalline jangle of the opener, 'People', every track shines. 'I Hung My Heart Upon The Willows' is a lush Balearic sea shanty, 'Prisons' a stomping crowd-pleaser, while the doleful Syd Barrett tribute, 'Oranges & Apples', is seven head-swaying minutes of gentle sea breeze loveliness.
The album was made in the glow of love and its warm, trebly production exudes a twinkling air of tranquillity throughout, but not once do things get soppy or blandly sentimental. Frank Reader's whispered vocals have an intimate quality and the lyrics are beguilingly delivered, particularly on the marvellous 'I Wish You'd Met Her'.
With Reader (whose big sister, Eddi co-wrote two tracks) and Guitarist Paul Livingston now living out new lives with new wives in L.A, there is a winning mix of Californian sun and Caledonian glum (let's call it 'Caledornian fun'!). The liquefied harmonies and a guest appearance from Carly Simon on 'Should I Pray?' only add to the hazy, '70s 'Laurel Canyon' feel each track is imbued with. Coming over kinda like Fleetwood Floyd, dreamy yet dextrous, they sound joyfully confident and ready to charm the world.
Chances are, though, this new album won't kick the Trashcans skyward but it will delight existing devotees and, for anyone else who welcomes great music into their home, this will be the prettiest, most instantly mood-lifting bundle of tunes to unravel itself at your door this year. Ten tracks, all wonderful and, assuming you have a soul, impossible not to love. The proof is In The Music.
2. Easy on the Eye
3. In the Music
4. I Hung My Harp Upon the Willows
6. Should I Pray? (featuring Carly Simon)
7. Morning Star
8. Oranges and Apples
9. The Engine
10. I Wish You'd Met Her