A pastoral, seemingly out of time, folky stew – some bits delicious, some a bit tougher.
There is a sense that this is an album out of time. Its vibe is certainly more rooted in the folk rock of the Fairports or Ronnie Lane than in the Tik Tok sensibilities of today but let’s be honest this is probably a good thing. Opening with the raggy, jazzy folk thing ‘ Bright Moon’ driven by picked guitar it appears that the album’s focus is going to be fairly narrow and somewhat folk in its focus but the following tracks ‘New Beginning’ and ‘My Lovely’ brings splashes of much-needed colour with piano and gorgeous harmonies to rolling beats and extended fade-outs. This is proper 70’s songwriting complete with harmonicas and fiddle. Maybe there’s some Waterboys in Galway going on here too? And what’s this, a track actually called ‘Ronnie’ in celebration of the Faces man? Again, it’s a jaunty romp, all collapsing choruses and snare drum shuffles between a glorious melody that summons up lying in meadows drinking cider and not giving a tinkers as the honky tonk piano takes centre stage.
So far so good but as the album progresses the charm becomes a little less endearing. ‘Night Owls’ and The Long Goodbye’ fit the template but lack the warmth of the previous few despite the similar instrumentation. ‘Drive All Night’ is a bit of a dirge as Tattersall almost shouts at the listener but ‘Since the Night’ redeems things slightly with its beautiful piano motif and confessional style. And ‘Fresh Evening Rain’ is also endearing with its sentiment and childlike refrain.
On repeated listens the album both endears and annoys. There is some strong songwriting and musicality here as evidenced throughout but there is also a sense of self indulgence in some tracks, particularly at the back end. As Richie Havens would say – a mixed bag