Thirty Pounds Of Bone

I Cannot Sing You Here, But For Songs Of Where


There's a work of art being carefully conceived and crafted on Johny Lamb's third full-length album under his Thirty Pounds Of Bone guise, something that articulates senses of place and migrancy through 12 songs arranged in four themed "locations" (past, heritage, present, in between). And while knowledge of the concept does deepen the album's meaning, it's the music that matters. It too travels widely, from the lost "Veesik" song style of Shetland, where Lamb grew up, to the communal Celtic singalong of Mother This Land Won't Hold Me, which wouldn't be out of place by a pub fireside. These tunes sound generations old and yet entirely new, as drones and ambient noise add a brittle backdrop to rich vocal harmonies, and a My Bloody Valentine guitar buzz gatecrashes a Pogues party. Lamb takes folk further down the road trodden by King Creosote and Jon Hopkins on Diamond Mine, rewriting the rules of the genre and making beautifully melancholic music as he goes.

Alan Morrison