I am a fan of country music. There I’ve said it. This doesn’t make me some backwoods yokel with no teeth and a skinful of moonshine; it does mean I was looking forward to listening to the new release by Dublin Alt country/Indie outfit ‘You Kiss by The Book’. They havn’t disappointed with this their third studio album. I say studio but this album was recorded in a house over the course of 2011, giving the band the chance to experiment with different sounds and arrangements. The decision to record outside the traditional studio setting has paid off and they’ve delivered a real treat.
The band first came to life in the hills of California and their sound is clearly influenced by the spirit of Americana. This is an album of first kisses at the edge of town and lovelorn miners who want their girl to just go. It’s a charming record from a group who are clearly hitting all their marks. ‘Cant go back’ is a beautifully paced piece of yearning melancholia that has a lovely kick of strings at the end. ‘Transport’ is another high point, it’s tale of being sad for what’s left behind is a pleasure from start to finish. It’s an album that delivers over and over again. Other notable mentions include the simple arrangement of the titular track and the frenetically upbeat opening number ‘Railroad’.
Written by Simon Dowling, Andy Clarke and Philip Walsh , Family Tree is a quality long player that features a number of guest spots from the likes of Fergus Gleeson ( James Vincent McMorrow) and David Crean (Villagers). The collaborative process has resulted in a gem of an album that is one of the best things I’ve heard in 2012 .It’s a confident statement of intent from a very talented bunch of musicians.
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Review by Niall Healy