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Woodpigeon Treasury Library Canada Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Fourteen tracks are packed into this marvellously beguiling package.

Michael Quinn 2009

Treasury Library Canada, the follow-up to Songbook, last September's disarmingly accomplished debut from eight-piece Canadian collective, Woodpigeon, arrives with what appears to be unseeming but altogether welcome haste.

Saturated in a faux-fey and knowingly off-kilter nostalgia, it sidesteps the 'difficult second album' syndrome to produce another sweetly sophisticated display of music-making guaranteed to entertain, intrigue, beguile and charm.

That the world and his wife is now singing the praises of Woodpigeon means you won't be able to claim them as your own private pleasure any longer. Gone, too, is the opportunity to gain the grovelling admiration of those you might have otherwise introduced to this delectable concoction of fanciful lyrics, sing-along melodies and home-spun sentiment. But that's a small price to pay.

A more focused album than its predecessor, Treasury Library Canada gains immeasurably from the delectable contrariness at the heart of frontman and songsmith Michael Hamilton's eclectic and elegantly unassertive art. For all the seductive fireside cosiness and gently swaying, raised-lighters-in-the-night-air prettiness of the surface of Hamilton's meringue-light, sugar-dusted melodies, what lies beneath are beautifully crafted lyrics that excavate into the affairs of both the head and heart with forensic clarity.

Fourteen tracks are packed into this marvellously beguiling package, each and all dealing with returning home after self-imposed exile. Folksy, rootsy, pop-y, indie and all points, perspectives and colours in between, Woodpigeon combine rare intelligence with insight and inventiveness to produce songs that seep and surge into the imagination and linger long after there like bittersweet inherited memories.

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