Boomkat Product Review:
Frighteningly beautiful, piercingly emotive strings, keys and vocals from the Glaswegian bard and his barcelona foil, revolving some of Youngs’ most direct songwriting since 1998’s ‘Sapphie’ classic.
At risk of repeating ourselves, these ears took a good few years to wrap around Richard Youngs for various reasons - be it age, “taste”, a formative aversion to folk music, whatever, I’m unsure - but when it clicked his music became a real treat that just made instinctive sense, ‘All Hands Around The Moment’ follows as the most instantly gratifying Youngs release in ages, and makes a perfect entry point for anyone else who may have sat on the fence about his work, or even not encountered it all, and likewise extends an ideal introduction to his playing partner; Spanish musician, composer and producer Raül Refree.
In all four parts Youngs exerts his canny potential to cure anyone who has grown sick or away from folk music and its naturally hoary conventions. By dint of his confident vocal clarity and the music’s lissom instrumental arrangements, inspired by jazz-wise torch songs as much as folk, Youngs and Refree cut to the core in a classic fashion that resonates equally with the timeless appeal of liturgical plainsong and Tim Buckley’s bleeding heart romance, supplying eons worth of immanent reflection between the wilting beauty of ‘Time Is An Avalanche’, the bruisingly broody turns of phrase in ‘Nil By Mouth’, and the somehow ancient-feeling but entirely modern expression of ‘Another Language’.