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KRIS DREVER - Where The World Is Thin 

KRIS DREVER - Where The World Is Thin 
Reveal Records REVEAL105CDX 

This is the latest solo album from Kris, focussing on a range of themes in a refreshing and beautifully produced set of songs. The catalyst for embarking on the project was a commission to write a song about the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet interned in Orkney at the end of the First World War. Scapa Flow 1919 is a wonderfully personal song told from the point of view of the German sailors who were effectively prisoners of war. Phil Cardwell’s trumpet evokes the loneliness and sense of abandonment in the song.

The title track and Hollow Trees are songs which took time to write and were completed after Kris and his family moved from Shetland to Glasgow early in 2019. Spurred on by a new wave of creativity, the bulk of the songs were recorded in the studio in January and February 2020, then lockdown hit. Working at home, Kris recorded Sanday, a lovely song about the island in Orkney, and the sharply observed Hunker Down about life in these altered and stressful COVID times. A subtle and entrancing version of Westlin’ Winds sees Kris and Siobhan Miller share the vocals.

Other contributors include folk luminaries like Phil Cunningham, John McCusker, Ian Carr, Christian Sedelmayer, Louis Abbot and Olov Johannson who recorded elements of the arrangements at home during lockdown. John Lorrie and Rachel Lightbody add piano and vocals. The album is beautifully produced by Euan Burton who melded the home tracks with the studio session material to bring passion and innovation to the project.

The album is further proof of the massive talent and inventive, visionary outlook of Kris Drever, and should be part of any self-respecting music collection.

Gerry Jones


This review appeared in Issue 137 of The Living Tradition magazine