Roddy Woomble's The Deluder traverses a bold mix of styles and genres

Idlewild frontman flexes his musical muscles in his sixth solo LP

Roddy Woomble's solo career began in the mid 2000s, seemingly a vehicle for his trad leanings, which had, in turn, seen Idlewild veer away from the noisy indie of their formative years toward a more contemplative folk-flavoured sound. While solo records Listen to Keep and The Impossible Song and Other Songs had drifted away from the strict folk confines of his beautiful solo debut, My Secret is My Silence, The Deluder comes as a bolt from the blue. Gone are the folk ballads, largely replaced by a collection of 80s-tinged alternative tracks.

Sparse opener 'Look Back Like Leaving' lurches along, calling to mind Various Positions-era Leonard Cohen, at the same time shows Woomble has lost none of his ability to turn a phrase. Similarly, 'A Skull with a Teardrop's hesitant delivery and discordant keys continues this use of space in the arrangement, all but stopping more than once to create an air of film noir. Equally cinematic is 'On N'a Plus de Temps', an ethereal duet sung mostly in French with Hannah Fisher providing celestial accompanying vox.

'Jupiter' was released as a single back in June and begins with Postcard-style post-punk before introducing a chorus that's uncannily reminiscent of Elvis Costello, a feat that's achieved again in 'I'll Meet You by the Memorial', along with some distinctly new-wavey goth-rock synth sounds in the outro.

While 'Remember to Breathe' and closing track 'Floating on a River' are much closer to previous solo territory, and the chorus of 'First Love is Never Returned' could be latter day Idlewild, The Deluder remains an eye-opening departure, executed with no shortage of style and wit.

The Deluder is out Fri 1 Sep via A Modern Way/Empty Words

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