EP Review: Adelaide’s Cape – Last Sleep In Albion

by Katherine

If hearing the term ‘folk troubadour’ makes you roll your eyes and subconsciously stifle a yawn, then enter Sam Taylor. Going under the moniker of Adelaide’s Cape, he performs his winsome folk ditties caked in just the right about of dirt – imagine the lovelorn indie-folk of twee vagabonds Noah & The Whale performed by a chaster, prozac-dosed version of Adrian John Moffat and backed by the sweet swooning of Lisa Hannigan and you’ve got Taylor’s particular brand of wood-smoked plucking down to a tee. Put simply, it’s bloody lovely.

The world Taylor conjures up on ‘Last Sleep In Albion’ is a far cry from the gauzy flights of fancy so fashionable in the modern folk world – ‘Last Sleep’ is a far more solid affair; it’s a gritty, ruddy-faced, full-bodied bear-hug of a record – the aural equivalent of beef stew by a roaring fireplace. You certainly wouldn’t find Taylor flitting around a forest, strumming a harp and arduously hugging trees; he’d be more prone to wood-choppin’ and wrestlin’ grizzlies (we assume!).

The EP kicks off with the lovely ‘Girl of The Land’; a gloriously cacophonous affair, marrying chiming indie purity with the kind of ramshackle sing-alongs reminiscent of Port O’Brien’s ‘All We Could Do Was Sing’. Elsewhere, Sam proves he can pull off moody and sensitive on ‘Rush Hour Wind’, swooning ‘No dear, we’re not alone this year!’ before sinking, gracefully, into a banjo-soaked haze- and the giddy foxtrot of ‘Stay’ is simply the most playful thing I’ve heard this year; Sam playfully accentuating his Scottish burr, his syllables gracelessly dragging themselves along the twitching reams of accordion and banjo like a rugby player trying, gauchely, to waltz- however, it’s the EP closer ‘Anchored Down’ which leaves the most resonance; it’s breezy, José Gonzalez redolent guitar plucking and sweetly-cascading refrain is about as chill as folk gets.

Having said that, ‘Last Sleep In Albion’ certainly isn’t without it’s flaws –Taylor’s Celtic brogue can sometimes seem a little too lackadaisical, a little too slack-jawed to avoid eventually becoming irksome – but, for now, let’s celebrate a rare commodity: a folkster who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.