Just Beyond the River

Just Beyond the River

by James Yorkston & the Athletes


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Just Beyond the River

James Yorkston and the Athletes' second full-length album, Just Beyond the River is just as enchanting and haunting as their first, 2002's wonderful Moving Up Country. Maybe even more so, thanks to a stronger batch of songs and Kieran Hebden of Four Tet's wonderfully atmospheric production. Unlike far too many practitioners of indie neo-folk who seem to regard melody and dynamics as minor annoyances to be brushed aside, Yorkston and his crew embrace them. There is a fragile beauty and grace to Yorkston's songs, and the arrangements caress and encourage his tender voice on lovely songs like "Heron," the soaring "Surf Song," "Hermitage," and the album's high point, the sprawling epic "Shipwreckers," which finds the band spiraling out like a sober Pogues. The only song that stumbles a touch is the clamorous "Banjo #1," where, by turning up the volume, the band breaks the spell the previous six songs had cast so powerfully. Fortunately the song that follows it, "We Flew Blind," goes right back to being hushed and beautiful, and all is well until the album's last beguiling note fades away. You hate to make the comparison, because it seems so facile and a touch improbable, but Just Beyond the River sounds like the kind of record Nick Drake might have made if he had been able to keep going. Or maybe the kind of record Ray Davies might have made if he had fallen in love with Fairport back in the day. The same sense of pastoral wonder and beautiful restraint exists within Yorkston that did them. He and his group (and Hebden) have created one of the strongest, most affecting, and most tender records of the year, a record that puts James Yorkston on the shortlist of British folk giants.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/16/2004
Label: Domino
UPC: 0801390003721
catalogNumber: 37
Rank: 264475

Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Yorkston & the Athletes   Primary Artist
Kieran Hebden   Slide Guitar
James Yorkston   Banjo,Bouzouki,Guitar,Concertina,Vocals
Wendy Chan   Vocals,Small Pipes
Reuben Taylor   Piano,Accordion,Harpsichord,Glass
Faisal Rahman   Dulcimer,Banjo,Percussion
Doogie Paul   Bass,Bouzouki,Percussion,Glockenspiel,Vocals
Holly Taylor   Human Whistle
Jon Bews   Fiddle,Violin

Technical Credits

Traditional   Composer
Kieran Hebden   Producer,Audio Production
James Yorkston   Arranger,Composer
David Wench   Engineer

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