j.tillmanYear in the Kingdom is J Tillman’s eighth offering, and his second LP this year. Now the word prolific just doesn’t quite seem to cut it, but prolific he is. And whilst quality is often sacrificed in the name of quantity, I can safely say that in Tillman’s case this is not so. Much more than just the "drummer guy from Fleet Foxes", then.His latest is a beautifully understated album, each track aching with a simple honesty. Sounding like the weight of the world is on his shoulders. Album opener and title track ‘Year in the Kingdom’ is a pensive, stripped back affair that seems to let out a reflective sigh as Tillman’s quivering vocals gently carry over the sweeping melody. And as with much of the album the biblical overtones break through in his lyrics. The graceful strings in melancholic confessional number ‘Though I Have Wronged You’ are as delicate as a whisper but Tillman’s voice cracks with emotional fervour.Year in the Kingdom is rooted in the folksy blues that we know and love Tillman for but his latest effort appears more sparse, slender and minimalist in its nature. Occasionally you’ll find the odd flourish, such as the harmonized vocals in the beautifully ethereal album highlight ‘Earthly Bodies’ as piano keys add poignancy to the swelling instrumental. This album, like we have come to expect with Tillman, is a slow burner, and it takes a certain amount of patience and dedication to pick up on those subtle nuances of his acoustic strums, soft voice and surging harmonies.J. Tillman on MySpace