‘All Creatures Will Make Merry’ – Meursault

More eagle eyed ‘Spillers will be familiar with Meursault (pron. Murr-So) what with their first LP being an album of the month on the ‘Spill, and that they occupy the M slot on the Scots A-Z ‘Spill series.

However, only  a wee bit has been said about their second record, which came out five months ago on the excellent Song, By Toad label. To be honest with you, I was so struck with the first album (it was number six on my top ten LPs of 2009 list, described by me as “A true original new voice, and cracking circuit-bent messed up folk tunes.”) that when the new LP didn’t have songs as immediate as “The Furnace” or “A Small Stretch Of Land” I had to give it more time and more listens.

“All Creatures Will Make Merry” is epic lo-fi, a massive amount of thought has gone into the recording of the songs giving them a vehicle that suits the mixture of traditional folk instruments (banjo, violin) and the ten quid drum machine that gets a good hammering on some of the songs. Neil Pennycook has a unique voice, one that sings beautiful words of loss, hope, and all the abstracts inbetween – in a way that can soar and elevate the spirits on the more focussed songs on the record.

“One Day This’ll All Be Fields” (above) is the stand out tune from the album, delicate yet terrifying, strummed on a ukelele down a phone line from a doomed planet – the last broadcast from a dead world, drifting in from space, makes me think of David Bowie’s “Five Years” in a way.

“Crank Resolutions” (above) is a good example of the Meursault sound, telling a tale of walking the streets alone on New Year’s Day, trying to make sense of everything – the music echoes the internal dialogue, moving from pensive to melancholic, to trying to gee oneself up and get on with things. The song has space in it, a rare thing these days, and scope too -as well as a great mix of electronics and things that are a bit more stringed.

The mandolin on “New Ruin” reminds me of mid-period REM, which is a comparison that I’ve drawn with Meursault from their first LP – I think the next LP may well be their  “Green” era and surprise the mainstream with it. Let’s hope they don’t lose the messed up noise along the way.

Song, By Toad Records is here, and Meursault have a page here.

 

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16 thoughts on “‘All Creatures Will Make Merry’ – Meursault

  1. I got a few good listens to this again last night (while pacing with small thing on shoulder)

    along with those you mention the build up in ‘New Ruin’ – I love that.

    and tried to get ‘Song for Martin Kippenberger’ in a rr theme a while back…

    if you’re in the right head space …(and 2am with unsleep is that place) this is an interesting and individual piece of work – dark and brooding.. lovely.

    • Yeah, I don’t think it’s Meursault’s perfect album – I think that’s yet to come – and will maybe a result all the touring they’ve been doing – be more of an epic rock record, kinda.

      Aaah, and as for small thing on the shoulder, we are luckily out of that bit – and into small thing clamped to abdomen, facing out the way, drooling – he demands it so.

      I have to mention just now that I have my hands on a new record that has blown most of the rest of the stuff released this year out of the water, from someone I’ve never heard of before – watch this space, it’s amazing!!

  2. “I have to mention just now that I have my hands on a new record that has blown most of the rest of the stuff released this year out of the water”

    you can’t say that and leave us dangling – like a Kit – it’s just NOT FARE.

  3. Hee hee hee, all good things come to those who wait…. plus I’m waiting for my CD copy to turn up, and also I want to make sure it’s not just short term infatuation y’see?

    One of the songs is stuck in my head just now.

  4. Just had a listen on Spotify. Like it. “Down a phone line from a doomed planet” is a perfect description. Not sure I want them to go epic rock – I can’t think of many bands that improve by doing that – but certainly be interesting to see them develop.

    “The Furnace” was a big omission from last year’s Festive Spill. I only left it out of my top 3 for tactical reasons, being pretty sure that someone else would have chosen it.

  5. The Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing with Tongues album came out in 2008, which is the only reason I can think of why I didn’t pick something from it. Something else that really impresses me is the way they can play a setlist like the one at the Luminaire last weekend that doesn’t include obvious candidates – no Furnace, no title track from album 1, no New Ruin, a solo version of Song for Martin Kippenberger – but you still walk out of there happy.

    • I saw them last night and was blown away – despite the fact that they refused point blank to play The Furnace when asked (I’d like to know why, cos when I saw Neil solo a few months ago he belted it out). They were going to play a new one as their last song, I shouted for Small Stretch Of Land – and they played it!! It was just magical.

      Great support from Fuzzy Lights, whose double LP I am listening to now. I’ll be posting about them very soon, kinda folky post-rock meets the Velvet Underground, yep.

      • Mnemonic is a Fuzzy Lights fan as well, Blimpy.
        We – well, someone at the front last Saturday – asked for New Ruin only to be told, politely: “We can’t play it.” (Maybe it wasn’t programmed into the machine.) And, not to rain on your parade, but Neil closed with A Small Stretch Of Land down here as well. Apart from him, and the random group of Spanish visitors at the bar, the place was silent until we got to cheer and applaud and stuff at the end.

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