Album: Malcolm Middleton ‘Waxing Gibbous’

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Scottish singer-songwriter Malcolm Middleton isn’t really one for looking on the bright side. As might be expected of a man whose attempt at the UK Christmas Number One was a song called ‘We’re All Going To Die’, his work has always contained a strong streak of miserablism. Middleton’s fifth and reportedly final LP isn’t exactly all-change, but there’s a new optimism to the recordings that results in tracks that are positively upbeat. While ‘Carry Me’ makes the sour complaint that “everything is wrong and it keeps getting worse”, first single ‘Red Travellin’ Socks’ is a wonderful, rocky, joyous beast which might just be the best thing he’s recorded. Elsewhere, there’s enough gentle, folky beauty and songcraft to make sure we know that if Middleton never records anything else, we really will have something to be miserable about.

‘Waxing Gibbous’ is out through Inertia.