Erland & The Carnival - Closing Time

Originally bonding over a mutual regard for Jackson C. Frank, Cooper and Tong’s work together as Erland & The Carnival has been largely predicated on reimagining British Isles folk forms – reaching an apogee on their 2012 Magnetic North sideproject. Recorded at Damon Albarn’s Studio 13, Closing Time proffers a refreshed direction, characterised by anthemic, opulently crooned pop-rock songs that sound like James channelling The Lightning Seeds (the title track; Birth Of A Nation), or Hot Chip playing tag with Metronomy (Wrong). Elsewhere, aching ballad Quiet Love swims in a lavish Tong string arrangement, and I Am Joan (a tribute to Cooper’s obstinate, Jeanne d’Arc-like personality, apparently) marries minor chord strums and Under My Thumb marimbas to psychotically wobbling electronics, while That’s The Way It Should Have Begun (But It’s Hopeless) – The Cars’ Drive by way of James’s Sometimes – just about lives up to its tragi-epic title. Watch the video for Quiet Love below.