It seems quite apt to be sitting here in the first week of 2015 listening to the life-affirming strains of New Year, the opening salvo from Going To The Sun’s debut album. It also becomes clear immediately that anyone who thinks folk instrumentation best lends itself to serious and studied, finger in the ear music that the folk police are forever keeping a watchful eye on, are in for a bit of a shock. Breaking through the traditional boundaries of acoustic guitars, resonating dobros, chiming mandolins and the like, this is an album filled with upbeat energy, driving music and a forward looking view point, even when reflecting on the lower points of life, it always finds the positive spin where many would be satisfied to wallow in their own self-pity.
And when they do shift down a musical gear, the results are no less wonderful, Halfway Around The World being a near perfect folk ballad in both poeticism and delivery and So Separate a heart-achingly touching torch song, a hand reaching out to make a connection to a lost friend.
Out Of The Night acts as a centre point and a wonderful summation of what is on offer here; a rock attitude, folk finesse and pop infectiousness all tumbling together and weaving a majestic musical carpet of vivid colour and lush textures and again a tale of finally surfacing from under a sea of troubles.
Lyrically the message that threads through the songs is one of self-belief, soul searching, travel and finding a place to belong in the world, a mantra for the modern pilgrim set to song.
It is the ability to weave folk and country sounds into real pop songs that sells this album so easily, real pop music with all the substance but no lack of style as well, many bigger, more commercially regarded artists could learn a lot from the integrity at work here.