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Talahomi Way

The High Llamas

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Album Review

The aural equivalent of a late spring breeze, Talahomi Way finds Sean O’Hagan and the rest of the High Llamas in a decidedly dreamy state of mind. Interludes like “Angel Connector” drift in and out softly and sweetly, making the band’s previous album Can Cladders sound downright heavy in comparison, and the lush strings and genteel brass and woodwinds on tracks such as “Wander, Jack, Wander” and “To the Abbey” feel like they have as much in common with Burt Bacharach and Nelson Riddle as they do with Brian Wilson. Interspersed with these reveries are fine examples of O’Hagan's pop-craft: “Berry Adams” opens the album with an alluring sparkle; “Take My Hand” captures seaside romance in two-and-a-half minutes; “Talahomi Way” reconfigures the Llamas' Stereolab-ish side into a serene travelogue; and “Fly Baby Fly” flirts with Baroque pop and soft rock. As with almost all High Llamas albums, Talahomi Way's details can speak louder than its actual songs, but this isn’t a criticism: here, O’Hagan and crew use those details to make an album that is equally pastoral and meticulous, and listening to it is like visiting a perfectly arranged topiary garden.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although the High Llamas are nominally a group, they're pretty much the brainchild of singer and guitarist Sean O'Hagan. O'Hagan did some time in the London-by-way-of-Dublin band Microdisney, in which he was the songwriting partner of Cathal Coughlan. After Microdisney split in 1988 (Coughlan forming Fatima Mansions), O'Hagan released a couple of import-only solo albums before forming the High Llamas. The Llamas issued their debut, Gideon Gaye, in 1994 to high praise in the British press; it was...
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Talahomi Way, The High Llamas
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