Small Town Boredom – Autumn Might Have Hope
Small Town Boredom are an aptly named duo from Paisley, consisting of Fraser McGowan and Colin Morrison. Their debut album Autumn Might Have Hope was released through Trome Records in 2008, and despite arriving to it late I’ve become quite transfixed by it’s perfectly languid encapsulation of the frustrations of both small town life and small town mentality. There’s a sense of hopelessness which permeates the low key compositions, sculpted primarily through acoustic instrumentation and the odd swell of subtle electronics. The key ingredient though is the vocals, which exude the kind of lethargy of broken dreams. The songs are hushed and intimate, like whisperings of thoughts which you try not to dwell on for too long and never quite break to the forefront. The lyrics are delivered with such blunt honesty though that it’s impossible not to confront the issues dealt with, particulalrly given the relative sparsity of the production.
There are no bona-fide stand out tracks as such, but that’s more down to the coherence of the album as a whole. Having said that For Today I Missed the Dawn Break is beautiful song, the simple guitar melody sounds like something which I’ve known for years. It’s more than that though, it’s the whole atmosphere which pervades the track, it’s smoky air of drunken confession is heart wrenching in a way that words on a computer screen can’t entirely capture, it’s certainly far more than the sum of it’s parts. These kinds of little flourishes such as the macabre spoken word intro of Sympathy for the Drowning or the delicate tribal like percussion on Elder Park & All That Followed lift this album out of it’s dank depression and inject it with a playfulness which makes the dusty lo-fi miserabilia even more affecting. This is an album which seems to have gone criminally under appreciated, and I’d thoroughly recommend tracking it down before the second album, due later this year.