Thirty Pounds of Bone is a songwriter, also known as Johny Lamb, originally living in virtual isolation up in the Shetlands, using the landscape, the solitude and emotions churned up from such a lifestyle to pour forth his heart in Method, the new record from the singular sea-shanty singer. Playing every instrument on the record, his sparse and straightforward ethos to melody sits easy in the ears, placid and toe-tapping in equal measure.

An off kilter chorus on the first track plants a misleading introduction, but the storytelling prowess flares as the lyrics tell tales of crime and narcotics. A Jeff Buckley style of songwriting flashes into life in a handful of songs, in terms of the pathos at the crux of the words. Nonetheless, Thirty Pounds of Bone sticks to some very traditional instrumentation and melodious dawdling, occasionally veering away into more fanciful flights of folk. 'All For Me Grogg' is an old Irish ditty, and, barring some odd lyrical composition, the tone and sentiment expressed here is perfect for the approach taken on Method; melancholy and warmth wrapped up into a precious package. More surprisingly, the elementary production behind the music grants a unique persona in the current climate and generates a dash of fuzz once in a while. Nothing to match any sonic shoegaze onslaught, but enough to tend towards a Neutral Milk Hotel gentility.

Even more impressive than the heart on display here is the fact that this whole thing was recorded in four days, hastily generating an album that holds such a clarity and poise, you'd think a few careful weeks had been spent honing everything down to a polished and smooth finish. Furthermore he did it all by himself, stuck in a bedroom in Devon, perhaps using the company of himself to his advantage, void of the intrusion of any externals. Something about isolation in artistic creation certainly lends a certain credence and clarity to the feel and flow of a product, free of influence and laden with the soul of an individual. Here, the myth of the elusive and the abrasive holds true with Thirty Pounds of Bone, supposedly a prickly figure when it comes to human interaction. It can perhaps be hypothesised that such a demeanour can add something heavy and honest to the heart of a musician, weighing down their words with a distinct emotional tang that resonates with that little empathic part of the listener. Method is an archaic form of an album, thankfully reminding me that glossy production and complex composure need not be a bastion of musical expression and intelligence. Sometimes, a simple shanty, a human heart and a voice of experience is all it takes to ease and please the ear.

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