First, a little background. Kenny ‘King Creosote’ Anderson is a Fife-based singer-songwriter and patriarch figure of a loose conglomerate of folk-inspired musicians, the Fence Collective. Architect of a good three-dozen records since 1998, mostly self-released, but some appearing on bigger labels – see 2005’s KC Rules OK and 2007’s Bombshell, which saw the light on 679 Recordings – his style is so intimate, low-key, but often surprisingly affecting songs that accrue a real emotional weight.
His collaborator here on Diamond Mine is one Jon Hopkins, a graduate of London’s Royal College of Music who has worked on a couple of big projects recently: he contributed keyboard and sound effects to Coldplay’s last album, and collaborated with Brian Eno, composing material for the ambient pioneer’s 2010 album Small Craft on a Milk Sea. King Creosote has none of the stadium bombast of Coldplay, or the experimental tendencies of Eno – but all the same, this is a collaboration that makes sense. Both share a taste for a rather languid tempo, that of small-town life and the more tender, bittersweet emotions; and theirs is a pairing that’s complementary, Hopkins colouring in the spaces around Anderson’s wearied voice, guitar and woozy accordion.