Nels Andrews


Scrimshaw Self-released****

Over the past few weeks, Brooklyn new-folk songwriter Nels Andrews has been nestling up to my affections with his literate, melancholic songs of life passing. Andrews’s 2008 album, Off Track Betting, was a favourite in this parish, but it took its time. Scrimshaw, too, has a quietly compelling and layered approach. Producer Todd Sickafoose paces the 10 tracks so that Andrews never seems rushed, employing the electronic folk instrumentation with subtlety and intelligence. Within this understated soundworld, Andrews’s warm reflections take on a whispered, intimate quality. From the opening Tridents, with its metaphor of whale hunting, to Wisteria, his farewell to New York (which closes the album on a beautiful and wistful note), his songs have real weight. This is not difficult music, and it does not demand attention. Instead, it needs time and repays it handsomely.

Download tracks:Tridents, Wisteria, Barroom Bards