Review: Jack Foley
IN TERMS of happy-go-lucky, feel-good albums, very few will probably
come close to the sweet innocence of Aberfeldy's Young Forever
this Summer - so it's hard to believe that they hail from Scotland!
Aberfeldy is Riley Briggs, Ian Stoddart, Ruth Barrie, Sarah McFadyen
and Ken McIntosh, a collaboration of like minded folk, who met
in Edinburgh's pubs and cafes, and who share an appreciation for
making great choral pop music.
Yet, listening to some of the tracks on the album, you could
be forgiven for thinking that they hail from the West Coast of
California, harking back to a time when Dylan was in his heyday,
and the Summer of Love was in full schwing.
There is a blissful innocence about it that aptly lives up the
name, Young Forever, for this effortlessly recalls a
time in one's life when the worries of the world did not weigh
Kicking off with the sublime A Friend Like You, the
album proceeds to take you on a whimsical joyride through tracks
such as Love Is An Arrow, former singles, Vegetarian
Restaurant and Heliopolis By Night, right through
to the chirpy anthem that is final track, Out of Love.
There are pit-stops, of course, or time-outs, where some soul-searching
is called for, as in the heartbreaking love-song, What You
Do, which is packed with delicious female backing vocals,
acoustic guitars, and an affecting violin, midway through, that
demonstrates some masterful songwriting.
In the main, however, this is the sort of album that is geared
towards raising a smile, and bringing some sunshine into the dullest
of Summer days, especially in the form of tracks such as Something
I Must Tell You, with its infectious boy-girl harmonies and
dreamy guitar riffs.
What's more remarkable, is that it was recorded by huddling the
whole band around the one mic and pressed record (in part homage
to Sinatra and Elvis, who used a similar technique).
The result is something which should appeal to all choral pop
music fans, who also like their Sixties throwbacks, Flaming Lips-Belle
and Sebastian-style journeys, and Simon and Garfunkel memories.
In short, it's a minor masterpiece that could well become one
of the biggest undiscovered secrets of the year. Make sure you
don't miss out.
1. A Friend Like You
2. Slow Me Down
3. Love Is An Arrow
4. Tie One On
5. Summer’s Gone
6. Vegetarian Restaurant
7. What You Do
8. Young Forever
9. Surly Girl
10. Heliopolis By Night
11. Something I Must tell You
12. Out Of Love