Fuzzy Lights – A Distant Voice

So, it would be easy for me to tag this review with phrases such as “they sound like” or “it reminds me of” but at the end of the day, whilst there are definite influences on show throughout this album, I have to say that this is somehow a refreshing piece of music.  No, its not ground breaking, but each tune is constructed brilliantly and the album has a lovely flow to it from start to finish.  It’s also not too long, clocking in at 9 tracks long, which for an album nowadays is short.   But quantity doesn’t always mean quality and these guys prove that with these 9 little gems.  The album growls and grows and sparkles and hums and fizzes and leaves a really relaxed atmosphere as it draws to a close.  The violins and growly guitars are undeniably Dirty 3 influenced but like I said, these guys take all their influences, wrap them up in a massive ball of atmosphere, spin it all around and then unleash something slightly different to anything I have heard before.  A lovely little gem of an album.  Definitely ones to keep an eye on in the future.

TSP Grade = C-/B+

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Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Beware

Ok, so I am by no means the biggest Will Oldham fan in the world.  I have not followed all his many various projects all that closely.  In fact, if I am honest, I own 3 albums by the man.  ‘I See A Darkness’, ‘Master and Everyone’ and now this brand new album ‘Beware’.  That said, I also caught him live at the ABC a couple of years ago and it was one of the most stunningly beautiful live shows I’ve seen.  ‘Master and Everyone’ holds a special place in my life simply because when I was a student working on various projects or studying for exams that was always one of my favourite albums to put on whilst I worked.  It’s simple beauty never fails to make me smile and it was absolutely perfect music for trying to pass exams to.

Well this is another gem.  Absolutely gorgeous songs but with a far more country feel to them than my previous experience of his work.  To be honest, it reminds me more of his live show, where he even managed to brighten up the dark shades of tracks from I See A Darkness with some excellent instrumentation and beautiful arrangements.  I get the feeling that this album is a very personal, mysterious record.  The song titles reflect the personal and the tone of the album is without doubt one straying towards the dark rather than the light.  Hearing this makes me wonder why I’ve not just religiously invested in this mans work.  His albums never fail to disappoint me and yet I only own 3.  Well I think on the evidence of this record that will be changing every soon.  This mysterious, ellusive songwriter is definitely one that needs further exploration on my part, but on the evidence of what I’ve heard in my life, he’s well up there with the greatest songwriters of our generation.

TSP Grade = B