Simon Lord One Reviewed

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The first solo outing for Simian founder and sometime Memory Band member Simon Lord is a fine example of classic English songwriting as a melting pot for a wealth of seemingly disparate influences.

Across the beautifully packaged and presented vinyl album’s eight tracks Lord distils the essence of Jim Noir, Ivor Cutler, Robert Wyatt, Jonathan Richman, Terry Callier, Richie Havens, Shuggie Otis, Horace Andy, Nick Drake and countless others, his guitar and many-flavoured voice straddling the pastoral mood with just occasional recourse to richly archaic electronica including the unmistakable sound of a Mellotron and a classic analogue Rhythm King MRK-2 drum machine, the kind of thing Sly Stone would certainly have approved of.

Recorded straight to tape in former Young Disciple Marco Nelson’s vintage One Inch studio where Alex Turner made the Submarine soundtrack, using Dr John’s electric piano and a guitar that Bert Jansch once coveted, the album aches with valve-powered pedigree.

Lord’s voice is a soulful daydream that’s never allowed to overpower any of his delicate music, while his playing invokes a warm, setting sun psychedelia, at once spectral and spatial.

Whether espousing the value of various substances on Escapism, dabbling with bleeps and beats on Better, setting his sights on Space Hawk or thinking about the future in Nothing Ever Lasts, One is a relentlessly charming record. That it’ll probably remain defiantly off-radar speaks volumes about these soulless times and invites the internet to show its worth in a vociferous demonstration of the power of virtual word of mouth. Chat on…

© Words - Nick Churchill
Read 3771 times Last modified on Friday, 08 May 2015 15:18
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