King Creosote – From Scotland With Love

THROUGHOUT HIS PROLIFIC CAREER, King Creosote aka Kenny Anderson’s songs have carried a strong scent of his native Scotland, both in the weft of the music and his vivid, observational lyrics. This first album since the Mercury Prize-nominated Diamond Mine – recorded with electronicist Jon Hopkins in 2011 – is an image-rich rumination on Scotland past and present. On Cargill, supported by his band and billowing strings, he describes, from the viewpoint of a woman in a fishing port, the dread, then elation of counting the returning fleet. There’s also an aching elegiac feel to the émigrés’ story, Miserable Strangers. The children’s rhyme Bluebell, Cockleshell 123, lightens the tone while Largs is set on a caravan holiday on a windblown summer’s day. “The water here doesn’t get any warmer,” warns Anderson and the band launch into a polka-style knees-up topped off with a dazzling clarinet solo.