“The hallucinator lives upon an island,” Alasdair Roberts, in his familiar Scottish brogue, sings on the opening track of the upcoming Wyrd Meme EP. His style of linear, seemingly stream of consciouness songwriting used to put me off in some ways — don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed his music greatly, especially 2005’s No Earthly Man — but I didn’t find myself returning to his records as often as others of the time. But today I find myself listening to the Wyrd Meme over and over again as I travel, maybe because his visual, visceral writing style speaks to a place in my own mind that I had yet to explore until recently. During my brief week and a half in the Brtish isles, Alasdair’s music held even more powerful sway, as if for the first time I truly grasped his rambling scope and Celtic whimsy. His songs are so rich in imagery that I find myself staring out of train windows watching unfamiliar landscapes blur by and, perhaps only fleetingly, daydreaming about long distant shores and open sails and lost loves.
The Wyrd Meme EP will be released October 20 on Drag City. You can pre-order and stream tracks here.