Villagers, photographed in Paris by Mark nixon

Villagers – Where Have You Been All My Life?

The Irish folk outfit return with latest album Where Have You Been All My Life? – and it’s an opportunity for the band to reflect upon progression since their Mercury Prize nominated debut Becoming The Jackal came out in 2010, with a stripped-back record containing live performances of songs from the bands past three albums.
Recorded at London’s RAK studios, the album sees old favourites get a make-under as the multi-track layering and synth-infusion existent on some older tracks is relinquished. This gives way to an acoustic experience which is both minimal, understated, and in parts visceral. Villagers’ affinity to atmosphere is testament to Conor O’Brien’s talent both as a songwriter and as a vocalist. Though, naturally, originality is limited as the tracks are familiar, it would be unfair to cast this album aside as simply a collection of acoustic performances reminiscent of Saturday night talk shows – there is more thought here than that.
CH 6/10

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