Adrian Crowley – Some Blue Morning
Adrian Crowley doesn’t write throw-the-curtains-wide-open-I’m-glad-to-be-alive songs. In fact, they’re usually in the wrist-cuttingly miserable category. Previous offerings include ‘From Champions Avenue To Misery Hill’ and ‘The Saddest Song’, about which it can be safely said that he won’t be sued for misrepresentation in the title. On his new album, though, there’s an almost positive spirit. “Our days are golden palominos”, he sings. More than that, there’s a new-found energy. For the most part, it’s because of the strings. They’re ever present, swirling around, moving in and out of the songs, chivvying things along. But they’re not the only welcoming move. There are female background vocals, softening up a couple of the tracks. And just when things might be getting into an all-too-familiar rut, the mood is broken nicely, first by a short instrumental, and then by ‘The Wild Boar’, a Tindersticks-style spoken-word track, telling a haunting story that Willy Vlautin would be proud of. Yet this is still a comfortingly familiar Adrian Crowley album too. There are some characteristically wonderful turns of phrase. “Do you have a vacancy for a wet-leaf rail-track picker?”, he asks. And ‘The Magpie Song’ – “One part colour of forest at night, One part colour of virgin snow” – is so menacing that you expect Tippi Hedren to appear on the scene at any minute. Adrian Crowley is one of the finest singer-songwriters around. A master story-teller. A soul-revealing communicator. And ‘On Some Blue Morning’ an almost cinematic-sounding music-maker. Arthouse, to be sure, and none the worse for that.