Although his debut album’s title hints at a more wintery vibe, Sorren Maclean’s record easily translates to a British summer’s day, with its delicate, folky, acoustic tracks that emulate lazy, hazy midsummer. Winter Stay Autumn is the latest release from the Scottish singer-songwriter, and perfectly captures the wild landscape of his home of the Isle of Mull.
While many of the record’s tracks begin with gentle strums of acoustic guitar, they quickly turn into rousing, wind-swept anthems, which stop the record from being merely background music. ‘Rows and Rows of Boxes’ has a distinctly Richard Hawley vibe, with its jangling guitars underlying the melodies. ‘Old Pier’ is a fragile, lamenting track, showing a gentler side to a record otherwise full of bigger sounds.
With the songs frequently clocking in at over five minutes, Winter Stay Autumn is a showcase of climatic instrumentation. The use of strings on ‘Way Back Home’ hints towards Maclean’s Celtic roots, and is extremely evocative of that ‘northern light’ that Maclean celebrates in his lyrics. The title track, which also closes the record, indulges in this instrumentation more than any other, and fully immerses the listener in Scottish musical tradition – so much so that you feel amiss if not wearing tartan and drinking whisky.
Maclean’s humble songs promote the magic of simplicity at a time when the music charts are inundated with overproduced and try-hard offerings. Whilst this album is so much more than a just a bloke with a guitar, Maclean understands that less is more, and the rousing parts of his songs are made with strings and guitars rather than with any overwhelming or overpowering noise. Maclean’s love for his home is presented clearly through his record, and invites the listener to revel in that love with him. It would be rude to not to.
Winter Stay Autumn is out now via Middle Of Nowhere Recordings.