Orkney's Erland Cooper has enjoyed musical acclaim in a variety of different outfits. Most prominent was his early success in the sensational Erland and the Carnival, which was followed by the shoegaze outfit The Magnetic North. His own solo project started two years ago with the first in the set of an Orkney inspired album-trio. With both 2018's Solan Goose and 2019's Sule Skerry having taken their listeners on a magical journey into the Scottish isles, the final piece of the musical puzzle is delivered with Hether Blether.
For anyone who has ever visited Orkney, they will know that this blissfully beautiful but varied collection of songs perfectly sums up the magical feel to the rich, rugged and peaceful landscapes that form one of Scotland's highlights.
With the album cleverly structured to give the listener both a sonic experience and an insight into how they could move around Orkney, given that the tracks are ordered with geographical proximity taken into consideration, this is as close to a tourist experience as we can currently hope for.
In a world that is locked down, this subtle record about the charm and strength that nature holds is ever more powerfully thought provoking.
Hether Blether closes with the dreamy Where I Am Is Here. While it is inspired by Orkney, the soothing moment is one that strongly echoes the calm we all need right now.
Closing his trio of Orkney insights with the most lush of the recordings, Hether Blether is a breath of fresh air.