Arriving on our shores with timeless tales of world-weary souls, Scotland's James Yorkston and the Athletes stitch together a blanket of folk-inspired comfort. Their second release is tender, troubling and cathartic. Yorkston's lyrics are pregnant, knocked up with loneliness and fear, and accompanied by hauntingly melodic arrangements. The band unleashes the full force of this folk offensive, with melancholy stirred only by a bow scraping across a violin's strings. Four Tet's Kieran Hebden oversaw the recording, which explores emotional distress as if it were the rolling green pastures of rural Scotland.
Yorkston plays the Horseshoe with Sam Prekop Saturday (May 28).