As this year’s winter began to recede, James Yorkston released his new album The Route To The Harmonium. His first solo album since 2014’s Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society, it was produced by Yorkston alongside his longtime collaborator David Wrench. An intensely personal album; The Route To The Harmonium is the sound of home, and friends and family, past and present swim all over his songs.
As he heads off to play a string of shows in Europe and ahead of a headline UK tour in May, Yorkston shares the new video for album track ‘The Irish Wars of Independence’, directed by Yorkston himself.
One of the three spoken word pieces on the album, ‘The Irish Wars of Independence’ is not directly political, though politics and religion are both on the receiving end of Yorkston’s tongue. “I was not caught up in the Irish wars of Independence,” he deadpans, at the thrum of the song’s opening. “Except by the noose of a religion, hung around the neck of a gullible schoolboy.”
Elsewhere, the song explores his many boyhood summers in West Cork, looking back on what he calls ‘the dream of childhood’. It’s first person, hypnotic, and sounds like non-fiction – though listeners would be wise to avoid literal interpretations. The playful, the imaginative, are always present. “When I was a child, I met the devil in Ireland / Did I ever tell you that my love? / It may just explain my transitory ways”. In that line, many possibilities lurk and that is one of Yorkston’s great skills, to be able to portrait a character, a life, in a single line.
On James Yorkston’s podcast, he recently recorded a special
on The Route To The Harmonium with
guests Phill Jupitus and Stephen Marshall . Listen here.
The Route to the Harmonium is available to buy on Dom Mart-exclusive green vinyl (w/ signed poster), deluxe green vinyl (w/ poster), standard vinyl (w/ poster), CD and digitally. Buy: Dom Mart | Digital
Upcoming James Yorkston live shows
3rd April – Unter Deck, Munich Tickets
4th April – Heimathafen, Berlin Tickets
5th April – Pygméteatern, Stockholm Info
2nd May - Summerhall, Edinburgh Tickets
3rd May - Òran Mór, Glasgow Tickets
4th May – Airdrie Town Hall, Airdrie Tickets
5th May - Waiting Room, Eaglescliffe Tickets
6th May - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds Tickets
7th May - Islington Assembly Hall, London Tickets
8th May - Reading Arts Centre, Reading Tickets
9th May – Gallery, Milton Keynes Tickets
10th May – Dukes, Lancaster Tickets
11th May – Old Cinema Launderette, Durham Tickets
13th May – Louisiana, Bristol Tickets
14th May - The Moon, Cardiff Tickets
15th May – The King’s Arms, Manchester Tickets
16th May - Trades Hall, Hebden Bridge Tickets
22nd May – Johnstone Library, Johnstone Tickets
23rd May - Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine Tickets
24th May – Tolbooth, Stirling Tickets