Julian Lynch Lines

Julian Lynch Lines
6
It's hard to believe that it's barely been three years since Julian Lynch put out his breakthrough album, Mare. A captivating release that showcased Lynch's unique brand of home-recorded, psychedelia-tinged alternative folk, it was followed by the equally impressive and even more immersive Terra. The draw with Lynch's music has always been the contrasting tensions: lo-fi recordings filled with baroque arrangements; his vocal style understated and often half-mumbled, yet the melodies sweet and direct. Lines is tonally similar to its predecessors, blending in some medieval-sounding drums and recorder (the latter getting a tad grating after a while) and welcome African timbres, such as on standout track "Carios Kelleyi I," which comes across like early Tortoise collaborating with Mice Parade. Elsewhere, the compositions meander a bit too much for comfort, such as "Horse Chestnut," with its jazz breakout, and "Yawning," with its off-key, shrill notes. Still, this is well worth having for fans that have worn out Mare or Terra, despite the fact that the immersive, soothing qualities that balanced the angularity on his previous releases have been ditched in favour of often shrill, jarring timbres. (Underwater Peoples)