Villagers - 'That Golden Time'

8/10

Throughout their illustrious tenure to date, Conor O’Brien's Villagers project has been seen as one of the more progressive and immersive doing the rounds. Blending traditional folk aesthetics with a more wondrous approach to production, their legacy has been littered with some of the most revered releases of the last few years, cementing them as true innovators on the scene. And after continuing that impressive streak with their 2021 LP 'Fever Dream', they now return with their sixth studio album 'That Golden Time', a record brimming with dazzling dynamics throughout.

While O'Brien's lofty and spiritual vocals have always maintained a hold on the transportive Villagers sound over the years, for 'That Golden Time', it feels as though its enigmatic production seems to take more of the reins. With each track pursuing its own subtly unique direction, using a distinctive array of instrumentation every time, their newest collection has this wildly adventurous nature to it. Moving slightly away from the safety of their comfort zone, they return with one of their most explorative offerings to date here.

Although they have still managed to keep that organic Villagers sound intact, 'That Golden Time' could well be the beginning of something new for them. Seemingly more textured within its aesthetic as well, they are once again moving with grace and vigour throughout.

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