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Album Review: L. Pierre – The Island Come True

He might have used a few different bands as the medium of its delivery, but you usually know what you’re going to get from a record involving Aidan Moffat. Be it via Arab Strap, Aidan Moffat & The Best Ofs, or his work with Bill Wells, the Scotsman’s output has all but entirely trodden a fine line between black humour and total despair with remarkably touching results. Until now, his solo work as L. Pierre has walked a similar path.

Whilst musically there’s nothing too shocking about The Island Come True being a Moffat record – its moodiness and despondency is perfectly in keeping with his previous work – what’s missing is any of his signature juxtaposition of wit and existential dejection, any wry turns of phrase, any… well, any words at all.  The Island… is a wholly instrumental album, one made up of ‘found sounds’, which can mean anything from field recordings of boat noises (‘Kab 1340’) to fragments of classical piano (‘Exits’) or children giggling (‘Sad Laugh’).

It always sounds remarkably full, is never woeful (despite being full of woe), and is a masterclass in arranging a disparate slew of noises. But knowing the lyrical gifts of the man behind it, you can’t help but ache for his deep Scottish drawl to appear atop it with some lurid, lamentable yarn. That would make it a record I’d love to revisit often, instead of the curio it happens to be. As it is, The Island Come True’s demons are aptly summed up by the title of its centrepiece; this is ‘The Grief That Does Not Speak’.

-Thomas Hannan

Taken from Notion Magazine Issue 61.

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