Robin Elliott – There is a Land (Album Review)

ALBUM REVIEW: Robin Elliott – ‘There Is A Land’

Having teased us with the release of three EPs over the last few years, London-based Mersey-born folk artist Robin Elliott finally drops his long-awaited debut album ‘There Is A Land’ later this month.

Produced by renowned folk artist Ben Walker, ‘There Is A Land’ is brimming with rich imagery and nostalgia. Elliott expertly weaves traditional folk with elements of jazz and pop hooks to create a sound that’s equally as original as it is sentimental. His songs have a poetic feel, while delivering witty observations on society.

Lead-single ‘Another Country’ is a song about long-distance love, full of wistful longing. Of the real-life inspiration, Elliott tells us: “The idea for the song isn’t all that insightful, it’s just about how far away we can sometimes seem from those we’re close to. And sometimes the more you get to know someone, the bigger the distance gets.”

Title track ‘There Is A Land’ is a peaceful song, starting as an instrumental, that he describes as, “a bit like something from a fable or fairytale, with a naivety to it, but almost like a naivety that’s on the cusp of realising that it’s naïve.”

Of the unusual vocal harmonies the singer says, “I tried to write the two backing vocal parts in different made-up languages. I had a job working with young people with severe autism, I might have been partially inspired by the vocal stimming some of them would use – although the sounds weren’t thought to have literal meaning, you would sometimes be left with the sense they had some significance for them.”

Meanwhile ‘The Classics’ starts with an audio recording from Elliott’s late father testing out a dictaphone he bought for his mother. In this context, an everyday interaction has become something more, a glimpse into the past. The track goes on to explore classical works of art and how impossible they are to create today.

“In every form and genre, the things that have become classics, they seem kind of unobtainable. How they could have come to have been created can seem to us unfathomable,” he explains. “The world has changed so much that the conditions under which they came into being are gone.”

With the powerful songs, rich imagery and narrative lyrics to be found within this album, it appears as though Elliott may well have created a future folk classic of his own.

‘There Is A Land’ drops on 20th October – pre-save here


Nat Wall