A musician of some note once told me that every artist that he held in any sort of esteem were either trying to be Van Morrison or Neil Young. Listening to the title track of this new release you will be under no illusion that the band are totally au fait with the Canadian stalwarts style, capturing more than a few of his chops to drive the song along. And why not? Although many people still have The Shudders pegged as a “pirate folk” band because of a couple of early tunes, they have always sounded more like an alt-country or counter-culture Americana outfit, it’s just that now they have the album to back up the fact.
There is still a hint of that celtic vibe on The Truce Song but largely their music sounds as if it were written under bigger skies, the product of longer road trips and past more dramatic landscapes. And although they have probably never intentionally sought a scene, the rise in popularity of British Americana over the last decade is probably going to serve them well, where their musical references to the likes of The Jayhawks and Green On Red will be lapped up by an informed audience.
There is room on the album to explore various avenues within this broad genre, Rooster rocks out, Sunrise plays to their vocal harmony strengths, Rise and Fall skitters with fragile folk ambience and closing track The Mary’s Grace wanders some darker, more experimental avenues but all the while it is the sound of a band having found their feet. This album may have been a long time coming but it was worth the wait.