Rolling Along. Solo: Roddy Woomble, The Impossible Song & Other Songs.

With the day job on indefinite hiatus, it'd be lamentable were the Scotch-stained brogue of Idlewild mouthpiece Roddy Woomble concealed by uncertain lull. The Impossible Song & Other Songs, Woomble's second solo outing, devoid of tracks insinuating the trials and tribulations linked with its conception is as easy a listen as they come, a collaborative effort effectively documenting six months in an Hebridean arts centre that's as quintessentially Celtic as the crisp wind breezing gayly beneath emerald kilt blustering atop glen ridge. Woomble's songwriting capacity has been honed, finely attuned to melodramatic indie whipped up by tumbledown strings and plodding drums, A New Day Has Begun illustrating succinctly this rather majestic craft in an R.E.M.-indebted ode to the hope incurred by glorious sunrise. Make Something Out Of What It's Worth meanwhile is a rather more vivid, touching account of blood-smeared snow and sturdy unity, whilst Work Like You Can is the song you'd opt for your deceased beloved to coo in spectral bedside hallucinations, whisked with seesawing, overtly emotive fiddle tranquility and Woomble's raw, virtuous drawl. The lullaby-like Tangled Wire is opulently sedative, whilst the pastiche Rumble Strips brass of Roll Along is swiftly swatted away by congruous euphony, Leaving Without Gold is drivetime melancholia of veritably epic woe, and the folky menace of Old Town tumbles and rolls with as much gusto as a bakers' dozen of waistcoat-sporting nu-folksters toting endless awards. The inexhaustible spectrum of musical variety contained within rarely ambles off into the dissonant (Hour After Hour is perhaps an all too conventional minor key shanty), a cohesive collection of heterogeneity that assimilates the treasured isolation of window gazing and Merlot nursing in the local cultural centre, a cast of tens plucking and stroking their way through a wondrous bustle of despondence setting the tone. Exceedingly facile, Gather The Day is comparable with the most giddy moments of The New Pornographers' sublime Together LP of yesteryear and suggests that Woomble ought to be traipsing the longitude and latitude of the land with these stories of Tobermory.