Tamara Williamson The Boat

Inventive artist Tamara Williamson has created a hazy, post-rock concept record about transatlantic love and loss. The Boat is dedicated to Williamson’s father and she describes it as "the story of a man who sailed across the Atlantic to try and mend a broken heart.” As such, it’s a moody, emotional album with an apt soundscape that recalls Slint as much as it does Massive Attack. "The Story” is vaguely trip-hop and gifted vocalist Williamson is an expert at conveying conflicting emotions via vague and abstract imagery. "The Dream” is dark and ethereal, matching a listless melody and rhythm with a vocal pastiche for an alluring result. There’s a wondrous low-end feel that begins to hypnotise listeners here, which is heightened by the chorus of Tamaras repeating a feel-good mantra on "The Self Boubt.” The ’80s synth gives "A Drink” a vaguely poppy bent but the song is mechanically cold, with Williamson’s voice barely sounding human. It takes Charles Spearin’s trumpet to add some light to the brooding atmosphere there. "The Land” is a dreamy seafaring song about being adrift and discovering what you’ve been searching for. These moments evoke sonic explorers such as Tortoise and help make The Boat a crowning achievement in Tamara Williamson’s considerable catalogue. (Ocean)