Roddy Hart is a name known to many of those who keep a close eye on Scottish music. Hart has been ever present in the scene since his 2004 demo Home Tapes and now has his own slot on BBC Radio Scotland. However, Hart is treading new territory with this new release. Firstly, this is the first record, Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, he has released since signing with Middle of Nowhere Recordings and secondly, this is his first release alongside long time session band ‘The Lonesome Fire’. With these two unfamiliarity’s hanging over him, it’s almost surprising that Roddy Hart has still managed to deliver to his usual high standards.
It says a lot for Hart that he is able to perform just as well with a full band as he does as a solo act. Melodies, harmonies and pounding, anthemic pop make the album a contender for the best of the year in Scotland, and it manages to hold up after numerous listens. Lead single Cold City Avalanche is a masterpiece, channelling influences from across the pond such as Bruce Springsteen and The National. No matter where you are, or what you are doing this album forces you to sit up and listen, with Bright Light Fever being a fantastic example of that. With its upbeat tempo and catchy hook its impossible not to tap away while you listen.
Hart showcases his song writing talents in this album, with intimate songs like The Big Jump alongside stadium rock like Queenstown. Hart proves in this album that pouring his heart and soul into every track means that his appeal can draw even the most far afield music fans into listening.
Roddy Hart may be well known, however he is capricious in that he can provide well-crafted music no matter his situation. Many albums have been released this year by many of Hart's peers, however music fans would be doing themselves a favour by picking this record up. After every listen, fans will have a new favourite track and there is something for the new listener to dig their teeth into. This is definitely a real triumph from Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire.
- Stuart Thompson
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire - Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire is out now on Middle of Nowhere Recordings. You'll find it in all good record shop and online here.