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Tupelo Tupelo
Album: The Heart's Bloodline
Label: Crashed
Tracks: 10

Irish alt-folk band Tupelo are back with their third full album, The Heart's Bloodline. In the eight years since their debut, Dirty Money, Tupelo have performed in front of 80,000 people at the Ireland Hurling Final, as well as selling out a 12 date tour of Denmark. James Cramer wrote the songs in such diverse locations as Dublin, Wicklow, Moscow, Copenhagen and Oslo, and this need to create has resulted in ten songs that may just form their best album to date.

Break Loose is the opener on the record; a short but punchy track with just a touch of Van Morrison about it (a key inspiration for the band). It's a good introduction, showing their willingness to fuse styles together to make something fresh. Queen of the Vale sees Cramer duet with Julia Haile to produce a gorgeous song, full of soaring vocals and wondrous harmonies. Solid Ground ends the album with a cracking soulful song with perhaps Cramer's strongest vocal performance. On any other album this would have been the highlight, but The Shriven Dust takes that honour here, a ballad with a gospel chorus and a raw emotional core.

It has become somewhat clich├ęd to talk about an album taking us on a journey, but that's exactly what The Heart's Bloodline feels like. The tracks here will lift you up and then bring you back down again, constantly surprising and delighting. This is a journey you'll want to experience again and again.

Adam Jenkins