Monday, 31 March 2014

Blyth - Brilliant Mind

Blyth cover art

Welcome to Monday evening. We've made it through the most hateful day of the week and not killed anyone with fire - so that's good, intit?

This is kind of a pretty special post. Not least because I'm going to introduce you to a brilliant album by another wonderful band, but also because it marks the last release from probably my favourite wee record label, Tiny Lights Recordings. More on that later, but first - the music. The necessaries - hoik your trouser creases off to the Tiny Lights bandcamp page to have a listen to Blyth by Brilliant Mind.

This is, and I'm actually going to break with my pact never to use this word lest I chew my own arm off with anger, a wonderful journey of tracks. Journey. I know, I'm sorry. I loathe that word with a passion, every fucker is off on one these days - but there's no other way to describe this album, it IS a journey of tracks, it's a beautiful meander through the North East, not only in terms of the song's contents, but also in the way the music is performed. These are songs with accents - they are songs with nuanced vocals, sung properly, and performed with real heart - they are the North in a capsule.

Opening track "Don't Give Me That, Rob" is an absolute corker, fantastic, catchy bass (thegeneral LOVES BASS) and such a lovely lovely vocal - muted and delicate. It sets us up nicely to amble into track two "Two Lies", another utter delight - there's a real sense of pathos here, a faintly plaintive vox marries with more catchy bass and organ. It's an odd mix, because the music feels really jaunty in many ways, it pops along merrily, yet there is a real undertone of emotion as well. Something that grabs your chest.

"The Room Upstairs" starts with a really delicate guitar, a great pick, it's a soaring song, with a gentleness to it, it's the song on the album that you want to lie back and shut your eyes to. Finally we end with the title track "Blyth", and it's a strong way to finish. It's really poetic - the opening line "You drop the latch on the front door, slides your legs off the bedroom wall until you're on your back, 'cos the light comes pouring in..." is so evocative. It's sepia, sixties and dust almost. The song itself, poetry aside, is just a delightful way to complete this collection. Again, deceptively powerful, emotional and wandering.

I really would urge you to go and spend some of your money and support not only Brilliant Mind, but also Tiny Lights, too. It's with quite a large amount of sadness I make this entry as it does indeed mark the end of Tiny Lights Recordings. Many of you who read these pages regularly will know how many times I've featured bands from the label and how much I tried to champion the music that they were putting out. It's been a genuine pleasure to discover bands like Blank Maps, By Toutatis, Lionhall, Tusk and Rivals - not to mention my favourite band of stroppy bairns Tissue Culture. You'll only need to flick back through the last few months of blog entries to find all these acts and acquaint yourselves with their brilliance. I think, by featuring Brilliant Mind, they're going out on a total high - so it just finally remains for me to say farewell and thanks to Tiny Lights. It's been a total joy and you're leaving behind some amazing music - and if you need further proof, please just go to their bandcamp page and have a listen (and for fuck sake, buy!!) So long, it's been a total DIY as Fuck blast...

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