Monday 28 February 2011

Arran Arctic - In My Hands

It's not a coincidence that when I start a new feature on Kowalskiy, there's one person I turn to and try to rope into road-testing the idea.  Thankfully, he seems to always say "yes". This, not fussy/overly trusting/easily swayed [delete as appropriate] guy is, of course, my favourite Edinburgh-dwelling Northern Irishman, Arran Arctic.  OK, so he's the only one I know, but that doesn't stop him from being one of my favourite singer-songwriters around just now.  Plus, he's a true gent to boot!

Odds are, if you're no stranger to these parts, you'll have heard of him.  Ever since he sent me a copy of his last album The Boy In Brown, I've been a fan.   So much so, I pinched one of his earlier tracks for Kowalskiy EP #1.  Since then, Arran's fair been dishing out the freebies himself with the first three singles (Interrupt Me, The Door and All That I Can Do) from his new release, his 5th album, In My Hands, all being given away.

The new album came out yesterday, and as per usual, Arran has served up a treat.  Compared to his last offering, it sees a different side to him.  Gone is the haunting D.I.Y. folk, replaced by some beautifully-crafted electro-dreampop, if such a genre exists.  Kinda like The Radio Dept. in their early days complimented by Arran's natural Irish charm and soothing tones.  The whole package is pretty damn good!  The three freebies Arran led with were a great introduction to the album and got me a wee bit excited in the run up to its release.  It's the stunning penultimate track The Wire though, that has had me reaching for the repeat button.  Give it a whirl...

It's an album to stick on and as the ol' cliché goes, lose yourself in.  Just be careful you're able to find your way back out of its clutches.  At the risk of offending Arran (and countless others out there)... it's a craic-er!

You can get your hands on the album over here as a name-your-price download or you can bag yourself a hand-packaged CD.  Here's what the man himself had to say:

"I’m really glad to have this record out of my system. It’s been a tough few years, but the reward is more than worth it; to have my work out in the world, out of my head and into people’s hearts and minds... And now I sleep".

It's definitely been worth it mate.  Now, quit slacking and get back to work!

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