Across Roddy Woomble’s near thirty-year career, his ability to craft the most heartfelt melodies is ever present, and on Almost Nothing the artist is at the top of his wonderfully enchanting game.
Almost Nothing, the first album of a new project of the same name, was conceived originally as a film or a novella. There’s a linear quality to the ten-track record, a refusal to hang around in one sonic space for any significant time, and a tendency for a sense of connectivity from one song to the next: a narrative communicated in captivating drum machines and synths that float and flitter into ever-fresh territory.
‘Instant Love’ and ‘Almost Nothing’ announce the forthcoming anthemics that crop up regularly in the sub-40-minute run. The elastically bouncing synths of ‘Returning Shadows’ provide a wonky backbone for a track layered with low-lying organs, rasping backing vocals and colourful xylophone chimes. Woomble exercises his lesser-heard falsetto in patches on ‘Better You Belong’, as deep synth bass breathes in and out as if imitating the epicentre of a panic attack.
As Woomble reaches his most impassioned vocal capacity on ‘I Know Where I’m Going’ he lets a wonderful melody carry the strength of his words: ‘I don’t think about what I know, and I don’t think I know where I’m going. and if I stop to think, I don’t know where to start.’
The accompanying 100-page booklet, compiled with Tom Johnson of GoldFlakePaint magazine, will no doubt provide a joyous unravelling of the creation of an ecstatic record.
Almost Nothing is out now via Assai Recordings. Listen/buy here.