Album review: Malojian – Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home (Deluxe Edition)

Malojain's album has been re-issued with seven bonus tracks in time for a live tour.

Malojain's album has been re-issued with seven bonus tracks in time for a live tour. - Credit: Archant

Warm, accessible and poppy alt-folk set gets some worthwhile extras thrown in.

Stephen Scullion is the man behind Malojian, an alt-folk-pop troubadour twice nominated for the Northern Irish Music Prize, including for this record, now reissued with seven extra tracks in time for a live tour.

For the uninitiated, Scullion weaves intricate vignettes with imaginative and contemplative songwriting, dotted with warmth and, often, wry humour.

True to form, his fourth studio album, recorded in a lighthouse on the remote, picturesque island of Rathlin off the Northern Ireland coast, is a compelling listen with plenty of heart.

A New Armageddon rises and falls hypnotically to melodeon redolent of King Creosote at a cosy ho-down, the pastoral Broken Light Company [Theme] was surely written for a radio serial set in a sleepy seaside town, and Hanging On The Glow’s dusky swoon, limber fiddle and anti-urban sentiment is surely a must on any weary commuter’s homeward playlist.

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The head-over-heels Ambulance Song’s reverie is balanced with a military drum rattle (sadly missing on the alternative live version also supplied), and there’s almost anthemic heights reached in the six-minute, swaying Purity Of Your Smile, which soars with quivering violins from humble beginnings.

Scullion likes to dabble in retro electro, too – the 8-bit synth beats lending Between The Pylons an aesthetic somewhere between Grandaddy and The Postal Service (the demo version reveals its raw origins while also applying some Vaseline to the lens, played on finger-picked acoustic guitar and soft piano).

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Of interest to fans old and new will be Beardness, a brand new track setting the lyrics of the swooning, piano-backed (anti-hipster?) single Beard Song to the album’s gloriously Grandaddy-esque title track, comprising burred guitar, splashy drum, valedictory trumpet and gap-toothed smile. A hugely satisfying listen.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Malojian performs live at Kings Place on Saturday (December 8). For tickets, click here.

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