With the release of Fault Lines in 2015, the Australian folk music scene had discovered a new, intriguing singer-songwriter in James McGuffie, otherwise known as Mcrobin. Since then, the lad from Melbourne has been treating his stirring blend of country and folk to five new arrangements, the songs finally now being released under a new EP entitled Shallow Diver.
Replete with plugged-in acoustics, transparent overdrives, warbled delays and electronic hum, the new record sounds like an appropriate aural context for country drawing rooms and bucolic vistas. There’s a definite warmth that saturates the record here, which works twofold: first by developing essentially his own sonic signature, while secondly effectuating a sense of nostalgia for music once heard on tape decks and old vinyl players.
The record highlights a maturation in songwriting for Mcrobin, delivering an exposition of self-reflection and a reconciliation with what he believes to be a numb disposition. His sound is comparable to the likes of Ben Howard and City and Colour’s later records – calm, resolute, comforting. In places he sounds similar to Thom Yorke; a lofty comparison, sure, but his falsetto is similarly rich and versatile.
You can listen to the lead single, ‘Concrete Feet’, off the EP here.