Album Review: I Am Kloot – ‘Let It All In’

The Manchester trio’s 14th year of poetic moroseness is under way with arguably their greatest album to date. Let It All In is produced by long time friends Guy Garvey and Craig Potter of Elbow, and I’m sure John Bramwell and co. hope that this effort is their Seldom Seen Kid moment. Orchestral and atmospheric, as with their previous records, this LP is often more stripped back, fully showcasing the band’s hazy vocals and snarling lyricism. Often lurking in the sleazy blues shadows of Elbow, I Am Kloot have gained a huge cult following over the years and, as Sky At Night gave them a long deserved Mercury nod, Let It All In is the platform to success.

Let It All In illuminates Bramwell’s understated but genial song-craft under the aged whine of his resonant confessional. Unlike its string laden predecessor, Let It All In envelops a tighter production, no doubt helped by Potter’s production. The song-writing from Kloot is once more cinematic and, for the most part, bleak.

Its beauty lies within the finer details, none more so than with opening track ‘Bullets’ as a guitar crescendos from Kloot’s characteristic unyielding angst into an unexpected frenetic guitar solo; a signpost towards perhaps a more optimistic direction.

‘Hold Back The Night’ harks back to Kloot of the past, producing the most uncompromisingly huge sound adorned with Kloot’s custom coarsely poetic elegance , “gone are the days we tripped the light fantastic. solutions more drastic running wild, where did you go to my little child?”

‘Masquerade’ is a brighter number, airy in its lo-fi indie beat contrasting with a creepy story of debt, “you went and borrowed money from the poltergeist” lit with a Northern jar. ‘Some Better Day’ is introduced by ceremonious brass bringing with it  90’s Britpop rippling refrains breezing through “gales of life and laughter”.

‘These Days Are Mine’, the record’s penultimate track is easily also the record’s highlight. With roaring psychedelia and stadium grandeur, this track transcends Bramwell’s complex metaphors and leaves us arms aloft nodding in agreement to a rare slice of optimism “These days are mine, just one smile taking up all my time”.

Fourteen years on and a sixth studio album, their cult following will reluctantly accept the gruff Mancunians’ step into the limelight. Let It All In reinvents the band; a compact and tightly produced record showcasing variety and confirming that I Am Kloot are not just whining real ale pub troubadours but a band ready to make that final step up into many more hearts and minds.

Adam Keyworth

Adam is listening to Rae Morris – Grow

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