Katriona and Jamie return with their fourth album, ‘Conflict Tourism’, and they continue their upward trajectory. This time around there is a central theme of them as observers of the threads of conflict running through us and the world that we live in.
During the past couple of years touring the duo picked up on the ever present signs of conflict on the news and in the world around them. Obviously there is the overt and incessant image of the brandished gun and bomb on the news, yet there is also an internalised emotional turmoil to many things we do in life. Gilmore and Roberts look at these conflicts on every level as the thread that runs through the album.
Using the tourism metaphor is a neat way of them acting as tour guides to these issues, a modern twist on the notion of folk music as a way of observing and recording life as it affects us. Conflict isn’t the main theme of every song however, the common element is what ties all of Gilmore & Roberts songs together; exploring the human condition. They explore the cracks in characters, relationships and society.
Conflict Tourism finds a fresh angle in its arrangements as well, adding guest musicians Mark Downer on double bass and Mark Tucker on percussion on most songs and Philip Henry on lap steel and dobro on a couple of tracks gives their distinctive sound a deeper level.
Another solid album from Gilmore & Roberts, who continue to blossom.