Footprints Through The Snow is an elegant and sweet natured album that takes a Conor Oberst / Elliott Smith drift through tales of heartbreak and poignantly hopeful woe. Every so often it teeters in the direction of the Valley of the Twee, and with Belle & Sebastian currently lost on the spaceship T-Rex, there’s room for Ant in the valley.
Ant’s voice is sweet, the songs are coy and charming, full of plaintive violin, wheezing harmonium, twinkly keyboards and strummed guitar, but none of this threatens to set the world on fire. It’s good, of its kind - there’s a lot of wistful daydreaming, and nowhere does anyone repeatedly sing “You’re beautiful...” in a constipated yelp.
By track 9, though, it begins to outstay its welcome. There’s no real change in pace or melody, and nothing much to make you sit and listen right the way through. Thirteen tracks of much of a muchness, as pleasant as that muchness is, is a little bit too much.
There’s not much else to say, really, so here are some reference points: Magnet, Gravenhurst, Bright Eyes, Aberfeldy and The Magic Numbers.
He’s Swedish, by the way, and he recorded this album in Italy. On track 8, he sings about London and the Isle of Wight.
1.WHEN YOUR HEART BREAKS (INTO MANY LITTLE PIECES)
2.IN YOUR DREAMS
4.SHE'LL BE HOME SOON
5.SPENT TOO LONG WALKING WITH NO HEART TO FOLLOW
6.THIS GOODBYE KISS
7.LOOK HOW TIME FLIES
9.CHANGE WITH THE SEASON
10.UP STICKS AND GO
11.HAVEN'T YOU GOT ANYWHERE LEFT YOU CAN RUN TO?
12.WE DIDN'T MOVE A MUSCLE