At some point, musicians will stop making albums based around the misery and death prompted by the pandemic, but for now there’s plenty to wallow in.
Take this Derby-based musician (who, fact fans, appeared on the b-side of White Town’s #1 hit ‘Your Woman’). It even opens with ‘Abide With Me’ – not the traditional tune beloved of funerals, but a positive song, kind of, concerning how memories of “fingerprints and footsteps” can keep departed friends alive.
Overall it’s more than just eulogies and doom and gloom – ‘Blanding’s Turtle’ is more upbeat with a decidedly celtic feel. A lack of lyrics, may contribute to the improved mood, as may the subject matter, an evolutionary oddity which shows no real signs of aging.
Generally, however, it’s appropriately downbeat given the subject matter, in the vein of Daniel Johnston or Smog – quietly nudged along by acoustic guitar and little sweeps of glitchy electronica. ‘The Sky’ is also a treatise on aging and like most of the tracks contains thoughtful, wry lyrics: “I’m taking you dancing- (which these days means drinking, then sleeping” followed by “I bet that we’ll look stupid on the dancefloor”.
Similarly,a musical pun on ‘Little Grey Cloud’ – “Oh you’ve got green eyes / oh you’ve got blue skin / oh you’ve got grey fur”. Its creator dedicates the release to who dedicates the 10 tracks to “anyone who has ever lost a friend, family member, lover, pet or indeed, any combination of the above”, and yes, it’s a poignant, affecting, and ultimately comforting collection.
‘The Late Frankie Machine’ is out now. This article originally appeared in the Blackpool Gazette.