Artist – Meursault
Album – Something For The Weakened
Label – Song, by Toad Records
Rating – 4/5
Over their last two albums, Meursault have been crafting their own little niche of folk influenced electronica. While that may sound impossible, Meursault won themselves plenty of friends, performing at Glastonbury and the Wickerman festivals amongst others.
Now though, the Edinburgh band are back with their third release, with a new direction and a few more members to make it all possible.
Right from the very start, you realise what you’re getting yourself into, a dark, sad exploration of emotion.
Trading the samples and syths of the groups past work for a piano and a full group of traditional instruments give the album are far more cohesive and stronger sound.
Supposedly the acoustic sound was mainly to do with singer Neil Pennycook’s laptop breaking. If this is an indication of what the group can accomplish without it, he should just take a hammer to it.
It’s the addition of the strings that make the album click though. They conspire with Pennycook’s seemingly despondent vocal to absolutely tear-jerking effect throughout, with Lament For a Teenage Millionaire, Mamie and Hole being desolate highs.
Even though it’s barley even a track length wise and it lacks Pennycook’s distinctive and stunning voice, Lightning Bolt is a stunning and gorgeous interlude and demonstrates the barren beauty the album oozes.
The one time that the album stumbles though is Dull Spark, an admirable but mainly of unsuccessful attempt at a higher tempo, full nu-folk style track. While it does achieve some of the sweeping, epic nature it’s aspiring too, the raw simplicity of the other tracks is more successful.
These songs feel like the confessions of a man unravelling in the most beautiful and poetic way, not the songs of a summer festival band. Deeply personal and more intimate than one could believe, Something For The Weakened
What the album lacks in pacing, it makes up for in sheer human emotion. Every track is absolutely ladled with the stuff. For those faint of heart it will prove too much though, as those in for a good, fun, frothy time may find Something For The Weakened simply too much to handle. Only enter if you have the stomach to take on such a potentially soul-crushing plummet.
This re-thought for Meursault suits them absolutely perfectly though, with Something for The Weakened a bleak but brilliant record and a real step up from their electronic roots. In terms of making you sob like a small child, Damian Rice couldn’t do a much better job.
Something for The Weakened is out now
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith