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Beachcomber's Windowsill

Stornoway

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Album Review

Named after a town on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, English indie pop outfit Stornoway’s breezy debut blends folk-infused, dewy eyed, twenty-something romanticism with rainy Brit-pop, and while the results can be hit or miss, Beachcomber's Windowsill is the kind of calling card you’ll want to keep in your wallet. Vocalist Brian Briggs, who sports a gentle croon that falls somewhere in between James’ Tim Booth, the Stone Roses’ Ian Brown, and Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, is more concerned with daydreaming through the verdant summer countryside and the ancient spires of his native Oxford than he is anything close to rock posturing. Over the course of 11 tracks, his soft musings are given equally gentle (and tasteful) credence by the band. Beachcomber’s Windowsill is frontloaded by its two best cuts, the instantly likeable “Zorbing” and the goofy but sweet “I Saw You Blink.” Both tracks convey the innocence of love and the heartache that hides behind it without coming off as cloying, but by the time the listener reaches “Boats and Trains” near the album’s midpoint, it’s hard not to want the narrator to just get on one and go find a girl that’s not covered head to toe in red flags.

Biography

Formed: Oxford, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The folky indie pop band Stornoway take their name from a town in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, but the group hails from Oxford, England. Singer/guitarist Brian Briggs, keyboardist/string player Jonathan Ouin, and bassist Ollie Steadman and drummer Rob Steadman (a pair of brothers from South Africa) formed the band while they were attending Oxford University; the well-studied band includes an ornithologist and a Russian translator among its ranks. The band debuted its jangly, largely acoustic sound...
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Beachcomber's Windowsill, Stornoway
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