RETURNED FROM HIS VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY AROUND THE GLOBE, Alasdair Roberts has brought a sac of assorted goods for you merchants, eight epic new songs…Spoils, geddit?

As the years pass, our Alasdair just keeps getting older. Not the way you and I do; more like accelerated growth, centuries passing. When the lad starts scoring his tunes for archaic instruments such as psaltery, viol and 19th century guitar, it’s serving notice that he’s going way back. In a sense, this makes Spoils his earliest album.

Possessed of a spartan grace, Spoils is deceptive like that. On board are Alasdair’s old hands from
Appendix Out (Tom Crossley and Gareth Eggie) as well as free percussionist extraordinaire Alex Nielson, noted baroque guitarist Gordon Ferries, Emily MacLaren, Niko-Matti Ahti (of Finnish free-pop duo Kiila), and David McGuinness & Alison McGillivray (both of Scotland’s Concerto Caledonia), bringing a loose and lively mixture of drums, bass, piano, !ute, glockenspiel, harpsichord, harmonium, viol, synthesizer, dulcimer, psaltery, hurdy gurdy, "ddle, and of course guitars and voices.

Ever heady, Alasdair’s got the crew working together to support a cra# comprised of luddite musings, tales from the traveling people and all manner of syncretic folklore, philosophy and a variety of faiths. In this way, our contemporary rallying cry of “we are one” is voiced and forti"ed with images from international lore that march forth from the murk of time to this very day.

Spoils has a lot on deck, but it’s meted out evenly and with an intense energy, always in service of the songs, which are marked with some of Alasdair’s "nest melodies. Additionally, Spoils ingratiates
new compositions in a deeply personal manner with the world of traditional music that has sunk
beyond the horizon for too many of us. It is a gi# to these latter days that a man like Roberts exists, to sing us back to our ancient home.