All The Luck In The World – A Blind Arcade
Indie Folk | Baroque Pop
Have you ever bought an album based solely on the cover? It may seem like a fool’s errand but I’ve yet to fall short, in fact I’ve discovered some of my favourite albums using this very method. That striking hand-painted artwork is what drew me in to the sophomore album from this Berlin based trio of Irish songwriters, and true to form it doesn’t disappoint. With a casual listen it appears to be a charming but otherwise ordinary folk release, but under closer inspection it’s anything but, as in certain places it sounds quite unlike any folk you’re likely to hear this year. Keen to experiment, sometimes even with their own homemade instruments, these songsmiths manage to adorn their creations with a cloak of curiosity that keeps you coming back for more but without distracting too much from the authentic folk warmth.
The gorgeous finger-picking of ‘Landmarks’ soothes like the gentle patter of rain on a windowpane, and ‘A Thousand Eyes’ offers understated orchestration and expressive bass lines, alongside little ambient sounds that prove even the tiniest details can make a song memorable. It’s the closing track however, ‘Abhainn’, that stands out as the album’s highlight. The uplifting climax offers the record’s most expansive sound, and you can just picture in your head the perfect motivational montage (complete with breathtaking landscapes) to accompany the song. Regarding A Blind Arcade as a whole, there are times when the tracks seem to just blend into each other, but the finer points of the album more than make up for it. We have here a real hidden gem of a record; full of life and surely due to be one of the finest folk releases of the year.