Tunnel vision develops insidiously and subtly, until one day you realise that the only bands who will spark your synapses any more are the most obscure, defiant and truly gauche; the bands for whom melody is a dispensable luxury and strange noise-making is all that counts.
These bands are all well and good – and in fact, they might well be my favourites – but focussing on one small niche of anything is a crime against balance. Too much of anything is a bad thing. (With the exception of peanut butter on toast, of which there can never be enough. But I digress.)
Midnight Boatman make old-fashioned, old-time, old-world music. It’s sometimes difficult to remember that this is not a crime.
Songs like Forward take a tried-and-tested approach: a guitar, a couple of doleful voices, a song about love, loss and life. Honest voices nip and tuck, and the guitars buckle under the weight. It’s a song racked with self-doubt but infused with optimism; accurately picturing the pinprick of light that spurs the sad onwards.
Perhaps Midnight Boatman have found a new way to be innovative simply by using old techniques. Perhaps I’m trying to look for something that isn’t there. Either way, in Midnight Boatman, charm abounds.