Release Date: Jun 3, 2016
Record label: RED Music Solutions
All of the feels with this one... If you’re the owner of a beating heart and count ‘feeling stuff’ among your hobbies, this lot’s brittle, bittersweet songcraft should be on your radar. ‘Open Book’ is a slow-burning affair, running the gamut from mournful ballads and campfire acoustics to driving weep / singalong anthems.Songs like ‘Kids’ and ‘Lost Little Boys’ capture the essence of mid-twenties yearning – bathed in nostalgia and Ross Leighton’s wounded croon.
Have we found a cure for second album syndrome yet? I Am An Island established these Kilmarnock lads as a competent indie outfit – not trailblazers, no, but in like-minded company among recent Scottish standard-bearers Frightened Rabbit or Admiral Fallow. Open Book, unfortunately, makes few strides from their debut, and feels limited despite its ambitions. The moodier moments – Always’ dark drumfills, Younger Days’ minor-key atmospherics – give some much-needed texture to an otherwise twee record, and the titular track’s thumping chorus and metronomic percussion are glimpses into what Open Book could have been.