Editors’ Notes Each release finds Scottish musician James Yorkston stretching out and finding surer footing, embracing a style as personal and intimate as Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson or Nick Drake. When the Haar Rolls In (the title refers to a regional Scottish fog) is sparse yet brawny, a roadmap of British Isles folk and its pop byways. Musical guests abound, including British folk artists Norma and Mike Waterson of the much-revered Watersons, harmonizing on a darkly beautiful cover of Lal Waterson’s “Midnight Feast.” The lilt of “Queen of Spain” is softly imbued with the spirit Ray Davies of the Kinks, while Yorkston’s hushed tones on the title track recall fellow Scotsman Aidan Moffat of indie-pop’s Arab Strap. Gorgeous finger-picked acoustic guitar drives most tracks, while pirouetting pianos, waltzing strings and gently droning harmonium provide expansive texture and color. “B’s Jig” is lush and grand, bursting with piano, concertina and harp, a song torn between being a reluctant ending and a hopeful beginning, and “Tortoise Regrets Hare” is heartachingly lovely, a regret-filled, poetic send off to what might have been. When the Haar Rolls In belongs in the collection of any folkie, whether of the Devendra Banhart or the Bert Jansch stripe. A truly exquisite record.

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