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Finnish Line

For the un-anointed amongst you, ‘Finnish line’ is a term used to describe the moment you run out of alcohol, usually after a monumental binge. This album is Jim Noir’s moment of clarity written and recorded when he “stopped drinking for two months”. Songs such as ‘Strange Range’ and ‘Piece of Mind’ attest to the sleep deprived excess during such bouts as well as the harrowing consequences that the morning after brings.

Unlike his more recent releases which were recorded in his home set up, Finnish Line has received the full orchestral treatment of a working studio, emulating the recording techniques of 60s groups like Tommy James and the Shondells and Revolver era Beatles. However, despite the sonic omnipresence of such influences, the songs are distinctly his own.

Following on from the eclecticism of his last LP, Jimmy’s Show, in which he recorded a new song every month for a year, this record feels more cohesive and personal – indicative of a narrower time frame. In ‘Stone Cold Room’, he eschews his self-deprecating lyrical style for brutally honest insights, which lends the album closer a tinge of melancholia worthy of a bravely reflective collection of songs.

Jim Noir plays at Soup Kitchen on 27 November

by Now Then Sheffield