Boomkat Product Review:
The second album this year from Fleet Foxes drummer - and singer-songwriting star in his own right - J. Tillman arrives in the shape of A Year In The Kingdom, a record laid down during a fortnight-long session in which he played the vast majority of instruments himself. You've got to admire the man's work ethic - particularly given the kind of hectic year Fleet Foxes have had. By no means a grand conceptual departure from Tillman's January-released Vacilando Territory Blues, Year In The Kingdom instead feels like a sequel. The album begins with a lonesome, rustic title track that reintroduces you to Tillman's impossibly warm, close-up vocal, with only the simplest stretches of acoustic guitar to provide backup, but it's on 'Crosswinds' and the thoroughly beautiful 'Earthly Bodies' that the album really starts to make its mark, resonating with a melancholy, abstract folk sensibility marked out by hammered dulcimer, polyphonic vocals and an Espers-like ear for constructing a subtly ethereal, airy production. Though not quite as heavily built-up and soaring as its predecessor, Year In The Kingdom is a thing of spinetingling intimacy and most assuredly the work of a very fine craftsman.