James Yorkston And The Second Hand Orchestra - The Wide, Wide River
Critic Score
Based on 9 reviews
2021 Ratings: #64 / 227
User Score
Based on 88 ratings
2021 Ratings: #145
Liked by 10 people
January 22, 2021 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
Chamber Folk / Genres
James Yorkston / Primary Artists
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The immediacy is obvious, and the band stretch Yorkston’s reassuring vulnerability in new directions.


Yorkston is one of our finest talents, still stretching out.


It’s contagious joy to hear players with such abandon and intuition, braiding their lines together.


Simply putting a group of barely-familiars in a room together doesn't necessarily guarantee collaborative magic, but Yorkston & the Secondhand Orchestra complement each other's strengths well on this richly satisfying matchup.

Loud and Quiet

What would be a fun Yorkston album becomes something more due to the presence of the orchestra.

Spectrum Culture

Another fine installment in what has proven to be a highly inventive and engaging recording career from a singular talent.


The beauty of James Yorkston's The Wide, Wide River allows the coziness back in without making concessions to his continued development and desire to push beyond traditional folk music.


Soulful singer-song writer music with lively acoustic guitars. However, I found James Yorkton's vocals to be very monotone and basic compared to the rest of the sounds. His best vocale were in the first track. I would've liked more emotion or character in his singing. This weakness is most evident in the final track, which should've been an explosion of passion. In many parts of the album, this weakness is compensated with background vocalists. Overall, I enjoyed it but it could've been ... read more
Soothing melody, feel good acoustic, amazing lyrics.
Thoroughly enjoyed. Not a single bad moment. A brilliant cover art also. Will now listen more Yorkston.
Fav Tracks: Choices, Like Wide Rivers
There is no Upside
We test the Beams
Country: UK / Sweden

Genre: Folk

For fans of: Sam Lee, Tom Rosenthal, King Creosote

Warm instrumentation and fantastically complex lyrics are the overarching theme on this record. Aside from the first track, this album was recorded entirely over three days and this improvisational spirit carries through on a lot of the songs here. The album doesn't necessarily feel rough around the edges, but it has a sense of spontaneity that I'd normally associate with live performances.

This is medieval ... read more
god i love folk music it is so good and nobody can argue with me because they would be wrong. also this is an amazing piece of album art like wtf. overall like a super good release i am impressed and very happy and have already ordered this on vinyl. i feel so at ease and happy now. "we test the beams" is a perfect song and "choices, like wide rivers" is close to being one.

fave tracks: ella mary leather; to soothe her wee bit sorrows; choices, like wide rivers there is no ... read more
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domvic, anztec, Through the Fog, bgod

Added on: November 4, 2020