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When the Haar Rolls In

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Editors’ Notes

Each release finds Scottish musician James Yorkston stretching out and finding surer footing, embracing a style as personal and intimate as Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson or Nick Drake. When the Haar Rolls In (the title refers to a regional Scottish fog) is sparse yet brawny, a roadmap of British Isles folk and its pop byways. Musical guests abound, including British folk artists Norma and Mike Waterson of the much-revered Watersons, harmonizing on a darkly beautiful cover of Lal Waterson’s “Midnight Feast.” The lilt of “Queen of Spain” is softly imbued with the spirit Ray Davies of the Kinks, while Yorkston’s hushed tones on the title track recall fellow Scotsman Aidan Moffat of indie-pop’s Arab Strap. Gorgeous finger-picked acoustic guitar drives most tracks, while pirouetting pianos, waltzing strings and gently droning harmonium provide expansive texture and color. “B’s Jig” is lush and grand, bursting with piano, concertina and harp, a song torn between being a reluctant ending and a hopeful beginning, and “Tortoise Regrets Hare” is heartachingly lovely, a regret-filled, poetic send off to what might have been. When the Haar Rolls In belongs in the collection of any folkie, whether of the Devendra Banhart or the Bert Jansch stripe. A truly exquisite record.

Customer Reviews

Simplistic Beauty

The album "When the Haar Rolls In" features incredibly soft and beautiful song styles ranging from the fun "Tortoise Regrets Hare" to the dark sounds of "Temptation." The album shines on its detail in soft background vocals, reed instruments, and deep lyrics in the songs like "Would You Have Me Born With Wooden Eyes?" Overall the album is one that can be a new discovery each time you listen to it. A definite buy.


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...
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When the Haar Rolls In, James Yorkston
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