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Beachcomber's Windowsill


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Audio CD, August 10, 2010
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Music

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Biography

Beachcomber's Windowsill is an album that has taken more than five years to make; a labor of love that includes over a hundred different instruments, the chimes of a Dutch church bell, one Morse Code message and the sound of several carrots being chopped. It is an album that features as many bedrooms as there are songs, as well as ruminations on the computer age, ornithology and first ... Read more in Amazon's Stornoway Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 10, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4ad Records
  • ASIN: B003FVCZ8Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,466 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Zorbing
2. I Saw You Blink
3. Fuel Up
4. The Coldharbour Road
5. Boats and Trains
6. We Are the Battery Human
7. Here Comes the Blackout...!
8. Watching Birds
9. On the Rocks
10. The End of the Movie
11. Long Distance Lullaby

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Newly signed 4AD band, Stornoway, are set to release Beachcomber's Windowsill on August 10. The album has taken more than five years to make; a labor of love that includes over a hundred different instruments, the chimes of a Dutch church bell, one Morse Code message and the sound of several carrots being chopped. It is an album that features as many bedrooms as there are songs, as well as ruminations on the computer age, ornithology and first love.There is something about Stornoway that inspires a feverish devotion; an adoration conjured by the charm of their songs, and the kind of rousing

Review

"Stornoway's unpretentious and largely successful attempt to write songs with a literary sensibility and a melodic sophistication is to be applauded." --Mojo

"[T]heir melodies and the refreshingly unmannered voice of mainman Brian Briggs sees the band rise above tweeness." --Uncut

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
A great album with some very catchy tunes.
Ryan Nielsen
The vocals are excellent and the songs are composed to reach soaring heights vocally.
Scott Yanoff
Impressive use of a wide range of instruments, harmonies and great songs.
Vinzo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 4, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The scale of the burgeoning British folk rock boom is the musical equivalent to the game of how many people you can get into a mini, with an ambitious number of people queueing up but only a worthy few eventually getting inside the main vehicle. On hearing "Beachcomber's Windowsill" by Stornoway for the first time your initial impression may be akin to this and lead you to question whether this Oxford based four piece will truly cut the mustard (Note Amazon USA while Stornoway is a town in Scotland the band is from England). Do we really need another group that takes its lead from the well mined seam of Irish folk based pastoral inspiration?

On the whole the answer is definitely yes since following repeated listens you discover in "Beachcomber's Windowsill" an album of enormous charm and joy de vivre. Influences are worn fairly openly on sleeves thus you could name check Belle and Sebastian. Frightened Rabbit, The Trills and most centrally Welsh wizards Gorky's Zygotic Mynci whose template "Barafundle" remains criminally ignored (Discuss - "Patio Song" should be compulsory at barbecues?). Stornoway are named after famous Scottish town and from their entry in Wiki they comprise singer and guitarist Brian Briggs; singer, guitarist, cellist and keyboardist Jon Ouin; singer, guitarist and bassist Oliver Steadman; and drummer Robert Steadman. The band is usually joined by trumpeter Adam Briggs and violinist Rahul Satija.

The highlights are spread evenly across the album and sung with a heartfelt passion which is hard to resist. Take the opener "Zorbing" which the Times describes as "blast of sea air that hits you as you alight an overnight train" it moves along at real pace and is the type of song that the throng at Glastonbury will lap up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ThisIs on September 18, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this based on recommendations and a quick listen to the samples. All I can say is "Wow." There's such richness to this album. It's indie pop with the vocal and instrumental richness of choir music or sea chanties. Is that possible? Somehow it is. The album starts very strong. Continues with power. Then tapers off into a more mellow and slow-paced wonderfulness. Wouldn't say "sounds like" these bands but Department of Eagles, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Theresa Andersson big on my playlist. If all this sounds good to you, take the risk on this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Yanoff on November 10, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is a stellar debut from the band named after a city on an island in Scotland. They have a Fleet Foxes kind of sound, but more polished and catchy. I found them because their album via a free stream when it first came out. Opening track "Zorbing" was offered up as a freebie and may still be found as such on the Internet. It's a jaunty tune and perhaps my second-favorite song of 2010 behind The National's "Blood Buzz OH". It's delightfully catchy.

The band continues the upbeat mood with second track "I Saw You Blink", another bit of ear candy that, when paired with "Zorbing", make for a powerful one-two punch to lead off the album. Most songs have a decent thump to them, save for track 9, "On the Rocks", which also seems oddly softer in sound than the other tracks. I don't know if there was a production issue but I had to program my iTunes to have that song's volume increased. As with most albums, the first half outdoes the second half but there is not a dud on the album. The vocals are excellent and the songs are composed to reach soaring heights vocally. I don't know if I can discern 100 different instruments on the album (carrots being chopped -- c'mon).

Each song really paints an interesting picture and, while some will take longer to grow on you than others, each is a treasure worth waiting for. Sixth track "We are the Battery Human" is the most unique both musically and lyrically, and a keen observation on the modern human's need to connect online and disconnect from the outside world (and nature). Beachcomber's Windowsill is a creative outburst that often sags with most band's sophomore effort, but I can't wait to hear what they do next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A.Mary on December 29, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great band. If you like Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, or Belle and Sebastian, you'll like Stornoway as well. The songs are so pure and simple, it's great driving along on a sunny day put you in a good mood kind of record.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jcg on February 6, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Stornoway's debut album, Beachcomber's Windowsill, is a fresh sounding, beautifully delivered musical offering from this talented Oxford-based band. The 11 tunes presented here reveal original and heartfelt songwriting, with strong vocals and musicianship. The instrumental contributions of trumpet and strings to several selections by family and friends of the band lend additional depth and color to the acoustic guitar, keyboards, bass and drums core. Representative of the musical range of this album are the backbeat driven "Watching Birds" and the soaring ballad, "On the Rocks," which is among the album's emotional highlights. Beachcomber's Windowsill
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vinzo on February 1, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I am a late comer to Stornaway but found this CD to be one of the most refreshing, fun, innocent, full-sounding CDs since the Fleet Foxes debut. There is something wonderfully organic and exciting about this band. Impressive use of a wide range of instruments, harmonies and great songs. Cannot recommend this highly enough. Yes, there are wide range of influences from classic folk, Donovan style coolness (think "Open Road")to songs that will have you bopping along: try sitting still to "Zorbing?, "I Saw You Blink" or "Watching Birds". Such a great find. Perhaps of all of the cds I listened to last year, this one may have the longest shelf life. Classic.
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