Three Songs by Ian Humberstone
I have a really bad habit of writing about bands after I’ve put them on in Edinburgh, rather than before, as any cynical marketing strategist would point out I should be doing, in order to drum up interest for the show. Well for once I have listened to the Head of Marketing* here at Song, by Toad, and will be writing about Ian Humberstone before he plays his BAD FUN gig on Saturday with Rick Redbeard. That night is going to serve as something of a launch night for this particular release, however, so I thought I should point out how excellent it is so you can go along and buy one.
I would imagine Ian is bored silly of the Bill Callahan comparisons by now, but I have to say that they are pretty unavoidable. That’s no bad thing of course, because Bill Callahan is a fucking genius, but annoying as it is, their voices are probably sufficiently similar that this particular comparison will never really go away.
I am not too fussed either way, because the fact is that Humberstone writes absolutely excellent tunes. There is an unhurried warmth to his music which makes it feel deeply comforting, even if you didn’t know you were in need of comfort in the first place. Terms like ‘nourishment for the soul’ make my anus twitch, but there is more than a touch of something like that in these three songs. It feels like it is doing you good just listening to them, as if some sort of invisible healing process is taking place.
There are three of these sparse, cautious songs on this 7″, one long and two very short indeed. It’s lovely, minimally assembled acoustic pop music, and incredibly tantalising for being so short. Ian is, I seem to recall being told, something of a perfectionist, which means he has released frustratingly little music since retiring his Tissø Lake moniker a few years ago. I work with a lot of people like that – people who won’t be rushed, and who have a very clear idea of how they are and are not prepared to work. I fear that trying to nudge these people risks actually putting them off as much as geeing them up, so I try and keep quiet, but I will say this here, in the nice safe anonymity of the internet (after all, no-one actually reads the internet right? Right?): Ian needs to make an album. He needs to record more stuff and release more. I want to to hear it. I will buy some of whatever the hell it is he ends up making, and I am confident it will be awesome. In the words of Monty Python: “Get onnnn with it”!
* Oh shut up. We totally do so have one.More: ian humberstone