Idlewild – Everything Ever Written [Empty Words]

Listening to a new album for some is an incredibly ritualistic thing – if this doesn’t apply to you, it might be time to start.

Turn everything else off, get your speakers or headphones to the perfect volume, and sink into the first Idlewild album in six years.


Our first experience of post-hiatus Idlewild was ‘Collect Yourself’ and that is how Everything Ever Written welcomes us in, with a freshly familiar sound leading us into the band’s future.

It’s one of the louder tracks on the record, guitar driven with one of the more anthemic choruses on offer.

Another lead single, ‘Come On Ghost’, follows, with Rod Jones taking control of the track as his distinctive guitar tones intertwine with brass over a triumphant marching beat.

Idlewild have never released the same album twice, and true enough Everything Ever Written is the next logical step in their output.

Tracks like ‘On Another Planet’ harken back with a respectful nod to their heavier moments, without any of the shambolic traits of their early releases and with all of the things that make Idlewild just as important in 2015 – Roddy Woomble sings like a man revitalised and reinvigorated to be around music a little more punchy than his solo material.

Album closer ‘Utopia’ sounds like a do-over of Woomble’s solo ‘Between the Old Moon’ track, a delicate outro following a fine tradition of calming conclusions along with the likes of ‘Goodnight’ and ‘The Bronze Medal.’

‘So Many Things to Decide’, with its soft organ and acoustic strumming, sounds like it would fit comfortably on to a Decemberists record, while seven-minute long ‘(Use It) If You Can Use It’ sounds like a band just happy to be playing together again.

‘Left Like Roses’ is an unexpected earworm with its repetitive piano melody sticking with you long after the track has ended, while Jones’ soulful guitar melodies never sound more contrasted with the louder elements on the record than here as he beautifully uses his guitar to dance over the piano keys.

If there is any justice in the world ‘Nothing I Can Do About It’ will become a live set staple with an instantly memorable refrain and the right amount of build up throughout the verses.

‘Like A Clown’ is a gorgeous toe-tapper, with country music-esque vocal harmonies that sound like the perfect soundtrack to a Scottish highlands walk.

As the album draws to a close, you can forgive Idlewild for their absence, as you realise the solo projects and the time away were necessary for the band to take the next steps which led to Everything Ever Written.

They have taken what they have experienced and learned, and bringing that back to the Idlewild camp has made for a fantastic album, which sounds like a band that loves what they have created.

Words: Scott Wilson


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