Contemporary preference for the confessional style of the individual is mirrored in literature, television and, of course, music. Will Lawton and his band, the Alchemists, have clearly captured the zeitgeist with their pocketful of songs…
The ethereal and atmospheric opening of Daughter fashions the mood of the three song CD. Our vocalist stage whispers in our ear and the unrelenting love for his offspring is evident in the line – “A child I would die for” – exposing the unconditional adoration for his daughter. Accompanying punchy drum beats, jazz-esque bass and swirling electronica capture the tumult of bringing a child into the world and resultant emotional journey…especially when “I let her go”.
The luxurious packaging of the CD is impressive; the gatefold cover in a matt finish is designed to reflect the band’s identity and attention to detail. Use of photographs with different lighting alerts you to the light and shade of the songs. Handwriting the personal lyrics of the songs on the inside cover instils, once again, the confessional style of the lyrics.
I like the complicity of the narrative in “Black Bricks”. “So take my hand,” is not an order, it is not even an instruction, it is an unconditional friendship. A friendship which will help us “circumnavigate this asylum”. Like the companionship in the confessional “The Boy, the Mole…” togetherness can overcome. Throughout, the pounding piano portrays the pain and peevishness of the day’s pantomime. Indeed…“the games we play”.
The opening to “Cast Iron” is joyous by comparison – with playful intro – before the Coldplay influenced voice narrates over the Coldplay-esque signature piano. However, don’t dismiss this subtle homage to the stadium stalwarts. The song has texture, nuance and an identity of its own. Additionally, Amy Kaelyn’s vocals add a sense of urgency and warmth to the song. The final track is altogether more satisfying than any confessional conversation in an episode of Love Island…I should imagine.
Using their imagination, the Alchemists have taken ideas from the full gamut of music. Although, they have not produced pure gold, I must confess they have produced something altogether more valuable.
By: The Swilgate Scuttler
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