Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from The Year of the Leopard by James Yorkston, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

The Year of the Leopard

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

With help from part of the Talk Talk clan, producer Paul Webb and engineer Phill Brown, former hard rocker from Fife James Yorkston's third full-length album is easily his warmest and most accessible folk offering. Gently rolling opener "Summer Song" is nearly a blueprint of the album as a whole; Yorkston harmonizes dolefully for three-quarters of the track with spare backing, and then a clarinet and double bass wall infuses warmth and makes the world well. Gorgeous standout "Steady as She Goes" picks up right where the opener leaves off, with Yorkston alternating between a confessional talky Arab Strap voice and a falsetto that drifts evocatively around strings, mandolins, a weepy harmonica, and train-like brushed drums. He returns to spoken word delivery with the slow-burning and spooky "The Brussels Rambler" and the autobiographical "Woozy with Cider," where he wonders aloud if his music will eventually make him rich over an organic pastiche reminiscent of Steve Reich. The influence and hands of Webb and Brown are omnipresent, particularly in the spare plucking of "Orgiva Song," which suggests the meeting place of Bert Jansch and Mark Hollis. Just as he brought an experimental, modern touch to his collaborative work with Beth Gibbons, Webb helps Yorkston here to straddle multiple genres, from indie rock to introspective jazz all in a base of traditional acoustic folk. The album is a brittle, introspective affair, but it's brimming with perfectly timed moments of emotional release, beautiful atmosphere courtesy of Webb's masterful oversight, expert folk playing, and Yorkston's rich voice, poetic delivery, and unerring songwriting. It's simultaneously cool yet soul-revealing, sparse yet full, experimental yet grounded, and mournful yet uplifting. The Year of the Leopard is James Yorkston at his very best.

Customer Reviews


Like many people who have just discovered James Yorkston, I first heard his work on NPR's "All Songs Considered." I downloaded this album on a whim, and I'm pretty impressed with it. Although "Woozy with Cider" is certainly the defining moment of the album, a narrative voice-over track that chronicles morning reflections, the other tracks are the necessary melodic, less-implicit companions. I especially like "The Year of the Leopard" and "Us Late Travellers." I'm interested to see what else Yorkston has to offer.

A Masterpiece

This entire record is simply stunning. Every single song on this album is literally spine-tingling; goosebumps just overwhelm my body whenever I listen to it. Yorkston is a great songwriter, both musically and lyrically. Hands down, one of my favorite albums of all time.

the song that changed my life

woozy with cider is one of those songs that i can totally zone out to. i first heard it on my local alternative rock station and it was like my mind was expanded. It's so down to earth and true that nobody can deny the raw emotion in it. without a doubt james yorkston is an artist of the ages.


Born: 1971 in Kingsbarns, Fife, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

James Yorkston was born in Kingsbarns, a small village in Fife, Scotland. At the age of eight, he started playing music and fell in love with the craft. At 17, he moved from Fife to the larger city of Edinburgh with his girlfriend. It was at that time that he became involved with a garage rock and punk band called Huckleberry, with Yorkston as the group's bass player. In 1996, he performed his first acoustic show after a friend working in a record shop picked Yorkston as an opening act for Bert Jansch...
Full Bio