For a long time, it seemed Manchester trio I Am Kloot were destined for eternal cultdom, despite releasing a slew of critically acclaimed albums. However, thanks to the success of the then-recently anointed Elbow – who have always owed Kloot a sizeable debt – their fifth album Sky At Night finally saw them bring in some crossover appeal and some commercial success. Now, with Let It All In, they have a chance to cement it.
For those wondering how John Bramwell and co would get on without the help of Guy Garvey’s endorsement, they’ll have to wait until next time, as he once again co-produces here with Chris Potter. To say his influence is large, though, wouldn’t be fair, as Let It All In is a real consolidation of Kloot’s strengths – minimal production values, unobtrusive drumming and Bramwell’s chipper yet melancholic twang bringing the songs to life. There is still a sense of the “epic” though; Bramwell and company deliver the big music in the thrilling finales of ‘These Days are Mine’ and ‘Even the Stars’.
In terms of sound, fans will be pleased to know it’s a return to the rawer aesthetic of their 2001 opus Natural History, only with a few more production flourishes, most notably on the riproaring ending to the tense opener ‘Bullets’ and the almost poppy ‘Mouth On Me’. As usual, Bramwell’s voice is sugar coated in glee but still exposes himself to fragility; with age, there’s a well-worn hue to his brogue which only reinforces the deep meanings behind the songs, particularly the chiming melodies of the title track.
Let It All In is another strong album in I Am Kloot’s canon, and one which should hopefully see their status as songwriting legends confirmed. Let’s hope they stay on the radar for a long time to come.