The Fruit Tree Foundation – ‘First Edition’ review

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of super groups in the music world, such as Them Crooked Vultures and Chicken Foot, but that world has always been missing one thing – a super group with kilts, beards and a particular taste for Irn Bru. That’s right, we have our first ever Scottish super group.

The Fruit Tree Foundation is a project to raise awareness of The Mental Health Foundation which contains members of Idlewild, Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, Sparrow and the Workshop and more. With such a talented bunch of songwriters from some of my favourite bands collaborating on the one album I was desperately excited to get a listen, and it did not disappoint.

So many different musicians working together guarantees one thing – diversity, and this diversity is demonstrated immediately in ‘First Edition’. The opening track, an acoustic guitar number featuring delicate piano and the vocal talents of The Twilight Sad’s James Graham, is followed by a fast paced, ridiculously catchy tune entitled ‘Forgotten Anniversary’ which would make even the best of us want to dance.

The third track on the album, ‘Favourite Son,’ is a particular highlight in my humble opinion. A simple rhythm guitar section combined with a heavy handed drum beat gives the song a strong basis to build on, and it is built upon superbly with guitar parts, which would not be out of place on an Arctic Monkeys’ record, and the powerful vocal back up of both Emma Pollock and Jill O’Sullivan.

The sheer variety of ‘First Edition’ is perhaps demonstrated in its finest form in‘ Beware Beware,’ which would be best listened to around a campfire by a group of people dressed in kilts, truly a wonderful piece of Scottish music.

There is never a point in the album where the listener becomes bored or wants to skip a particular song. The more upbeat songs, such as ‘Singing For Strangers’ and ‘All Gone But One’ have me tapping my foot and singing along without fail. Whereas the slightly more delicate numbers, ‘Fall Arch’ and ‘After Hours’, in particular, contain beautiful vocal harmonies that grasp the listener’s attention to the point where one is staring in awe at the computer screen wondering if the people creating the music are quite as gorgeous as the music itself.

‘First Edition’ finishes as it started, with a quiet acoustic number based around simple acoustic guitar work and delicate piano, with the vocals supplied in brilliant fashion this time by James Yorkston and Jill O’Sullivan. ‘Just As Scared’ proves the perfect finale to a simply brilliant album which, although it has literal highs and lows in terms of volume, instrumentation and pace, stays constant in the superb quality.

The Fruit Tree Foundation have created a truly fantastic album which I would recommend to anyone who likes good music and cutesy Scottish accents. (Maybe not for fans of Them Crooked Vultures)

-Calum Wilson (@_calumMDSN)

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