Most people with a hear that swarms to finding that certain music that truly speaks to them have a few "if only people heard this, they would understand" artists. For myself, Max Eider is most definitely at the top of that list. In the years since his early role as right hand man for The Jazz Butcher, he has perfected the style of eccentric British indie singer songwriter and then expanded upon it to inhabit his own unique elements. This album is one of his finest moments. It's a rich heady brew of melodies that immediately stick to the senses, warm swirling minor chord wonders that somehow sound fresh & new & akin to the my favorites from labels such as Glass, El Records, Cherry Red, etc. The appearances of June Miles-Kingston (The Mo-Dettes, backing vocals on the classic Microdisney albums- speaking of lost gems...) certainly enhance this as well. The lyrics truly take things in new directions. Through recent releases, Max has become an expert at weaving tales that alternate between darkness and sweetness- on this album lyrically the darkness hits a peak while musically the sweetness hits an equal height. A melody can have you grinning from it's infectious chorus just as a lyric appears such as "I hope you die in a place like this, terrific and soaked in piss". Throughout, topics such as isolation, racism, violence and more are broached but somehow it never feels the way many "topic" songs do. There's always the seduction of the sweet melodies, the perfect lyrics, and a warm throughout. At one point, the music brings a surprise on the level of the lyrics and for me it provides that rare example of truly being shocked and swept up in a musical moment.
A great offering from someone who carries on without praise- it's highly recommended to give this a chance.