During lockdown, Roddy wrote and recorded his Fifth solo ‘Lo! Soul’ to be released on May 21st.
Roddy explains: “I’m a collaborative songwriter, used to working in a room with one or more people, or a band, and I think my songs benefit from that human connection and response. With lockdown last year my initial reaction was not to work on songs. It offered a pause for us all, and like many others I found myself alone and reflecting. Concentrating on reading and writing. Considering maybe working on a book of poems instead. But eventually musical ideas started forming, and six months later ‘Lo! Soul’ was finished – recorded entirely remotely between my home, and the homes of my collaborators Andrew Mitchell and Danny Grant. It’s the most unusual sounding record I’ve made, and made in the most unusual circumstances’
Lo! Soul sees Woomble continue his unique and restless trajectory, gently stepping away from his previous acoustic/folk intentions in favour of a more explorative light, prevalent on 2020’s ‘Everyday Sun’ EP, which featured largely spoken word pieces over an ambient, meditative soundtrack.
Produced and mixed by collaborator and Idlewild bandmate Andrew Mitchell (aka Andrew Wasylyk), ‘Lo! Soul’ was recorded remotely between Roddy’s home in the Hebrides and Andrew’s studio in Dundee throughout 2020 while Scotland was locked-down.
Roddy explains: “Andrew describes moments of the album as ‘Dystopian-pop’ which I think is as good a description as any. Lockdown gave me the sense of a collective melancholy, a shared remoteness and isolation – that has been a guiding influence throughout all the songs. It is the most unusual record I have made, and made in the most unusual way.”
Across his twenty-five year career, ‘Lo! Soul’ may well be Woomble’s most inventive, creative album to date. From undulating synths and ambient soundscapes in the abstract narratives of ‘Atlantic Photography’ and ‘Secret Show’, the sun-tinged horns of ‘Architecture in LA’, a mellifluous Mellotron or perhaps a piano chime. Here, the path is embedded with Roddy’s words delicately unearthing the known and never known.