As no one has bothered reviewing this superb album, I figure I will. All ten tracks on this album are classic, and this album is a minor modern masterwork. This guy really knows what he's up to; he creates laidback retro pop of the highest order. Those who think 'retro' is a negative trait, listen to this album and you may feel differently. There are echoes of Dylan here, but it's mostly more pop-orientated stuff circa Mamas and the Papas. It's hard to describe the easy magic of the songs, but 'Sandy' is about the best sun-drenched summer pop song you could hear. Then there's the melancholy longing of 'Summer Long', the hook of which lingers in the mind like a summer cocktail on the tongue. There's nothing blatantly emotional about the material here; it is unimposing in the best sense. It forms a soundtrack to a person's gentle disillusionment, while at the same time managing to cheer your spirits. The voice is relatively high and fey, but with a certain amount of ironic bite to it. If you want a timeless distillation of melodic pop and rock, without gimmicks or an imposed persona, then buy this album.
I stumbled across this completely by accident. Being tied to my desk at work for a change trying to finish writing a paper I was messing around with Last FM. For weeks I just had their radio set to my 'library' whatever that is.... I got bored to be honest of stuff that I already heard a hundred times before so I turned the radio on to play stuff that sounds like Fanfarlo after seeing them a couple of weeks back. I got lots of good stuff I hadn't come across before (The Dodos, Volcano Choir and The Rural Alberta Advantage were some of them) however I was sufficiently snapped out of my writing reverie a few times when particularly good tracks came through the headphones. three times in two hours the tracks were by Papercuts and from this album. So I ordered it. This is truly one of the best thigns I've listened to for a while now. In fact i don't think I've been as excited by a random discovery since I ordered 'in the aeroplane over the sea' by Neutral Milk Hotel on a recommendation a few years back. For those of you who know and love that album you'll know that this is praise indeed! This is simply a terrific album that deserves to be much better known than it is.
So the album....what's it like? I guess the thing that comes to mind when listening to this is that it is very influenced by a lovely 'west coast' sound. the Byrds spring to mind listening to this album. But if you can imagine a kind of late 60s lo-fi psychedelic folk-rock melded to Grandaddy then you'd not be far off. Singer Jason Quever has a very haunting voice that permeates the album from start to finish. The standout tracks are easily 'John Brown' - one of the best songs I've heard in a while, 'Unavailable', 'Sandy' and the remarkable 'Found Bird'. Seriously, go and buy this, it's lovely. I promise you won't regret it. (10/10)
I was recommended this by a fellow "Amazon Reviwer", who has also reviewed the album here and was in agreement to my views on The Courage Of Others. What a recommendation!
Very low key, in a style which reminds me of Galaxie 500 (particularly On Fire: Deluxe Edition) and Luna (Lunapark - who I seem to recall had members of the former in the band), whilst also being very "West Coast"...think The Byrds. Rarely has someone managed to identify something I would like based on reviews alone, so once again, thank you Mr. Wheeler!