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Beachcomber's Windowsill
Display Artist
Catalogue Number
Release Date
May 24, 2010

As its title suggests, Stornoway’s 2010 debut album, Beachcomber’s Windowsill, is something of a treasure. Featuring singles ‘Fuel Up’,‘I Saw You Blink’ and ‘Zorbing’, it showed just why so many were excited by the Oxford indie-folk quartet’s arrival - a DIY guitar band unusually rooted in folk tradition. They stood out further with their deft ability to try their hand at most instruments, never shy to experiment while their pure pop harmonies soared.

Warmly received on release, Beachcomber’s Windowsill quickly attained Silver status in the UK and among the many positive reviews, The Observer praised it for having a “real emotional depth that transports their music from throwaway sunny songs to something altogether more poignant and enduring”, while the NME called it “beautifully rendered and melodically magnificent; a Constable landscape of a record.”

The album is complemented by a stunning sleeve by designer Chris Bigg, who has played on the album’s title and their songs about nature by working with illustrations of shells, aquatic life and old maps.

Pressed on recycled black vinyl, in FSC-sourced card sleeve


"We tried to make each song a bit unique - we even went to the extent of teaching ourselves how to play new instruments and ways to record them. That's why we thought the album title could work, because it's a bit of an odd collection of bits and bobs that we've accumulated over the past few years,” explains Brian Briggs, lead singer and lyricist of Stornoway.

A collection of songs their debut album, Beachcomber’s Windowsill, may be but these melodies and lyrics together, form a beguiling whole.

The Oxford quartet have used a kind of alchemy to combine startling harmonies - at times reminiscent of barber shop quartets, at others far more choral, pure with perfect pop refrains all rooted in very traditional, British grassroots songsmithery. Tapping into a subject matter as diverse as New Zealand adrenaline sports, natural history and car journeys, Stornoway distill very personal subject matter and experiences into crystalline classics and crucially love songs that revive the most jaded of hearts.

Despite the last year’s media focus, the band manage to retain a solid sense of innocence, this and a strong DIY ethic (producing and recording most of the album themselves) mean that Beachcomber’s Windowsill will probably bring Stornoway a whole lot more in the way of attention and never has a band deserved it more.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 Zorbing 3:29 Buy


  2. 2 I Saw You Blink 3:50 Buy

    I Saw You Blink

  3. 3 Fuel Up 4:22 Buy

    Fuel Up

  4. 4 The Coldharbour Road 4:29 Buy

    The Coldharbour Road

  5. 5 Boats and Trains 4:21 Buy

    Boats and Trains

  6. 6 We Are the Battery Human 4:00 Buy

    We Are the Battery Human

  7. 7 Here Comes the Blackout...! 2:03 Buy

    Here Comes the Blackout...!

  8. 8 Watching Birds 3:23 Buy

    Watching Birds

  9. 9 On the Rocks 4:50 Buy

    On the Rocks

  10. 10 The End of the Movie 4:19 Buy

    The End of the Movie

  11. 11 Long Distance Lullaby 4:17 Buy

    Long Distance Lullaby



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