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West My Friend West My Friend
Album: Constellation
Label: Grammar Flight
Tracks: 7

Performed with a full choir and orchestra in Victoria, Canada, In Constellation is the fourth album from folk three-piece West My Friend. This is folk with a big difference, and an incredible evolution of sound. The big band sound gives this one the feel of a classical musical at times, with its soaring vocals and exquisite harmonies.

It's quite the brave choice to start an album with an unaccompanied track. Fall Knows showcases Eden Oliver's vocal talents, with a song about the seasons and the cyclical nature of life. It's a brave choice, but a good one, demonstrating that this is not perhaps the album you expect it to be. The orchestra kicks in with Salt Water, full of melancholic atmosphere which builds to a more hopeful climax.

Build A Bed and Old Song feature some of the best arrangements you'll have heard this year. Both songs are crafted to perfection, with not a wasted note, and come across as timeless classics. These two are the undoubted highlights on an album of incredible strengths.

Shape of a Home has a more contemporary feel, dropping the tempo with a captivating song about the search for love. All These Things mixes in quiet introspection with moments of surging intensity, while An Education closes out the record building to an impressive crescendo that will leave you wanting to give In Constellation another play.

Simply put, In Constellation is a superb album from start to finish, and features musical story-telling of the highest order. This really feels like a masterfully crafted piece of work, with every sweep and fall adding to the texture. You won't have heard many better albums than this in 2019.

Adam Jenkins