Dominic Waxing Lyrical

Rural Tonic

Tenement Records

THE SINGULAR lyricism of Dominic Harris can be opaque, but it is never less than intriguing. If the title of the second DWL album, Woodland Casual – released in 2015, some 18 years after the first – suggested countryside footie-fan menace, and the therapy hinted at in the name of this one is undermined by the opening couplet of Joy: "Oh! Doctor! Please prescribe a pill, For my life has become uphill." It is also hard to smile at the start of Octopus Man: "Here comes the Octopus Man! Girl on each arm."

Elsewhere he hymns Susan Sontag, and chimes with the season in referencing the alleged Perthshire birth of Pontius Pilate (mysteriously misspelled "pilot"). Lush accompaniment is provided by members of Aberfeldy and Mr McFall's Chamber, with the SCO's principal horn and bassoon and pianist Simon Smith joining the usual representatives of the orchestra's string section and cellist Su-a Lee adding her eloquent musical saw to a love song named after pioneer Soviet space-dog Laika. The rockers of the set are The Morningside Woodpecker and, of course, Song For The Hard of Hearing. Listen carefully for echoes of Leonard Cohen, The Smiths and Wreckless Eric, but it is all the unique sound of Dominic Waxing Lyrical.

Keith Bruce