FILE UNDER...GREAT SCOTS
Is there something in the haggis? For a small country, Scotland sure cranks out a lot of wonderful music: Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Teenage Fanclub, Belle and Sebastian, Travis, and many more. The latest Scot offering is Edinburgh’s James Yorkston and the Athletes, whose Moving Up Country hits the U.S. on Aug. 27. Yorkston has concocted an enchanting mood album that mines British Isles folk, but with an indie sensibility. Think Freewheelin’-era Dylan jamming with the Pastels. “We hired a cottage in the Scottish Borders for a month,” says Yorks-ton. “We recorded when we felt like it. If it sounds relaxed, it’s because we were relaxed. It’s a farming cottage, so there’s a barn full of koos [we’re pretty sure he means cows] and loads of pheasants and a loch with boats. It was a 20-minute drive to the nearest shop. I thought, Dammit, we’re gonna come up with something good. And we did.” Something really good, actually.