May 18, 2004

King Creosote "Psalm Clerk"

Last year's Kenny & Beth's Musakal Boat Ride may have been King Creosote's proper debut, but it certainly wasn't King Creosote's first record. I fawned over the combination of traditional folk/home recording tape tricks mixed with a wonderfully deep Scottish accent, because it produced a wonderfully unique style. As I mentioned at the time, King Creosote has released several dozen albums over the past few years, all handmade and super-limited. Musakal Boat Rides was apparently a collection of songs from these releases. At the time, I wondered that if these songs were the best from those obscure releases, then those self-releasedalbums might just be musical treasures that we'll probably never hear. Due to the fact that it wasn't until January that I heard it, Musakal Boat Rides would have made my top ten list for last year.

Shortly after that review, I received Psalm Clerk, another one of the albums that King Creosote released last year, and my theory that these lost albums were rare jewels was proven correct. All of the things that made Musakal Boat Rides so awesome have been multiplied tenfold on Psalm Clerk. It's quite apparent that Creosote makes his best music at home, in front of his 4-track. Though there's not much information on how this album was recorded, it's most likely safe to assume that this is a home-recorded album, and I'd like to think that this magical record was recorded in his bedroom, because it would most assuredly raise the bar on the bedroom tapers scene--which is what we need!

It's amazing how wonderful the songs are on Psalm Clerk. You would think that an album with 23 songs would be a bit hit or miss, but that's certainly not the case here--every song has its own magical charm, and every song is simply wonderful. Heck, even the one minute instrumental experiments are wonderful--and that's a rare thing, indeed! I would love to give you a detailed rundown on each and every song, but that would be too time-consuming. The highlights include the wonderfully addictive vocal interplay with accordian and acoustic guitar on "Snakes From Single Socks," the jubilee of "Happy With Our Lot," and the lovely "Not One Bit Ashamed." The other twenty songs are excellent, and Psalm Clerk is best summed up by the words of "You Cuckoos:" "It appears to be almost flawless/It appears to be downright perfect." This album is truly and utterly breathtakingly wonderful, period.

It's very rare that an artist releases such consistently wonderful music, but Psalm Clerk is flawless--and I've gotta say right now, this album is something you MUST SEEK OUT RIGHT NOW. There's a link below, I suggest you click on it RIGHT NOW, because Psalm Clerk will blow your mind. A truly wonderful record.

--Joseph Kyle

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