You don’t get many big albums these days. Albums that have a sense of scale. Albums that exude grandeur. Albums that reek of money well spent like albums did back in the days when record companies would put up wheelbarrows of cash in search of that elusive multi million seller. Yet, on a little Glasgow independent label, we find such an album in “Earthbound” by Starless.
Starless – stalwart musician Paul McGeechan and his cast of many – have gone large with this album featuring, as it does, a real orchestra complete with the kind of windswept arrangements that one might expect of major Hollywood movie soundtrack and, to complement those dramatic orchestral manoeuvres, the redoubtable Mr McGeechan has enlisted the vocal talents of such luminaries as Emma Pollock, Julie Fowlis and his long time collaborator Chris Thomson.
And the music? This is folk music in Cinemascope with the expected intimacy of that genre matured and scaled up into something that, whilst replete with Scottish musical motifs, can reach out across the oceans to fill the concert halls of distant lands and, in these days of market researched conventionality, it is actually refreshing to hear an album that makes such a grandiose musical statement. Size, as at least half the population of the world already knows, is important and this album simply rises to the occasion.
Earthbound? I think not. They will be playing this album in spaceships. Tomorrow needs a soundtrack like this.