INTRODUCING. Cameron Avery with debut album review – Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams

Release date: 10 March 2017
Genre: Experimental blues/folk
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
Words by: Scott Murray

With such an emphasis on production in the modern era, vocals have seemingly fallen to the back burner. This is not the case for Perth’s Cameron Avery. His debut album ‘Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams is a truly beautiful offering thanks to Avery’s transcendent vocals, with the entire album highlighting vocal qualities reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. This, paired with Avery’s poignant lyrics of longing and loss, create a dramatic vocal landscape.

That is not to say that Avery’s production suffers as a result, to the contrary Avery has created a striking instrumental landscape filled with sounds not of the modern age. His use of strings, horns and even an organ is shockingly refreshing in an industry filled with synths, and generic drum beats.

This old school sound shines in the albums fifth track, ‘Big Town Girl’, a soulful ode to Jane, the girl running circles in Avery’s brain. Avery drives this home in the song’s forth verse.

“You know I’ve never had the time to wait around for a dame, but if I knew that we could make it I’d wait around for Jane”.

The track begins with a swell of an organ before being joined by thoughtful guitar and minimalistic percussion. Avery’s voice then cuts through the instrumentals in what feels like an instant, but lasts in your ear for far longer.

A standout of this track is the pain in Avery’s voice, constantly oozing his longing and eventually his loss. These two themes can be heard throughout the record, no more so than when Avery croons “Could I suit her better, than that dark blue sweater? Probably not.”

There isn’t a tune on the record that manages to escape Avery’s titanic wave of despair, every track dips its toe into the deep pool of Avery’s pining. This coupled with Avery’s seeming opposition to contemporary sound has allowed Avery a unique opportunity to let his lyrics to take the fore.

However, there are tracks that seem entirely independent of this sound. The album’s third track ‘Dance With Me’ highlights this through its neo-western sound, similar to that of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds track ‘Red Right Hand’.

As well as this there are tracks that give glimpses of Avery’s psych rock pedigree. Avery, Tame Impala’s touring bassist and a former member of Pond, briefly lets his roots show in the album’s two busiest tracks ‘The Cry of Captain Hollywood’, an entirely instrumental track that is as rousing as it is peaceful, and ‘Watch Me Take It Away’.

Watch Me Take It Away begins with pulsing, almost sitar-esc guitar before the track takes flight with a swarm of rhythmic clapping and heavy short bursts of guitar and rapid fire percussion. This ensemble becomes a tapestry that allows Avery to highlight his range whilst also allowing his powerful lyrics to shine. The track follows Avery’s growth as he grasps that he need not waste his time on relationships without mutual respect, starting the third verse with the glass shattering realisation that his time is as important as anyone else’s. “I aint got time for your perversions, I spend my time transcribing versions of the truth”.

Overall the album is musically undefinable, and yet astoundingly beautiful. There is something ethereal about Cameron Avery’s voice that creates a sense of hope, despite the distinct sense of loss seen through almost all of his lyrics. This is a fantastic first effort from a talent that has been hidden behind a bass guitar for far too long.

 


Listen to the highly anticipated debut album from Cameron Avery here
Also make sure to check him out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 

S.M.

 

ALBUM REVIEW. Atiptoe – +Venture

 

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Image: Failure By Design Facebook

Rating:★★★★☆

Atiptoe are a 4-piece group from the South of England, who have been doing their thing, mixing indie-rock and pop-punk fun with local independent record label Failure By Design since 2013. After releasing two singles through 2013 and 2014 to set in the band identity and sound, they are now embarking on their debut album, ‘+Venture‘ (out now in all the right places) and the verdict is so far so good!

 

The band’s evolution in both musical style and confidence since their emergence in 2013 is apparent from the first words of opening track: ‘C’mon, Let’s Light This Candle‘. Front-man, Dave Sylvester‘s is especially impassioned throughout this record, as he sings the powerful lyrics that this band do so well in writing such as “Mister teacher, Mister preacher won’t you share with us the wisdom you’ve been keeping“. The album then goes onto take some risks, with some funkier-riffs in their latest single, ‘Oh, the Cleverness of Me!‘ and more delicate melodies in the beautiful track, ‘What Is Essential‘. This short instrumental track is where Atiptoe take a moment to demonstrate their brilliant musicianship that puts them apart from other typical pop-punk bands. Meanwhile, you have tracks like ‘You’ve Lost your Muchness‘ which are all about the intense build-up to the belting chorus, where all members come together to bring about an explosion of drums and heavy guitar solos. Just what we like to hear.

 

Atiptoe have simultaneously taken more risks musically here compared to their earlier material, with more elaborate drumming and ambient moments within tracks; the evolved vocals have also started to show a more vulnerable side to Atiptoe at times within this album. Finally, the concluding track, ‘Not Told You Half of What I Saw‘ confirms our estimations that this new material will be an impressive sight to see live. From the intricate ebs and flows of the guitar lines to Sylvester‘s ever-growing powerful vocals during a possible call-and-responce “Do you believe me now?”, this is a band will bring something new to the live indie-rock scene in their upcoming tour (dates below).

 

You can catch Atiptoe live at the following shows:

May 29th – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton. (With Merrick’s Tusk and Redwood)

May 30th – Mother’s Ruin, Bristol. (With Redwood)

May 31st – Fiddler’s Elbow, London. (With Redwood)

June 1st – Chameleon Arts Cafe, Nottingham. (With Redwood)

June 2nd – Dog & Whistle, Hertford. (With Redwood)

June 3rd – Boileroom, Guildford.

June 5th – Cellar Bar, Bracknell. (With Redwood)

June 30th – Sanctuary, Basingstoke. (With Signals)


Stream Atiptoe‘s new single, and full album now on spotify

Give the band a like/follow now on facebooktwitter and their website, atiptoe.com

Also check out what else Failure By Design Records are up to on facebook and twitter!

 

 

Baker out

ALBUM REVIEW. DOLLS + Fauxplay – ‘EAT IT UP’

Release date: May 20 2016

Rating:★★★★

We recieved a sneak peak into the booming, 80s-romantisised world of DOLLS in the form of EAT IT UP. This is an album that deserves to be heard, at least due to its background. The story behind DOLLS is an interesting one. Her journey began in Canada, after signing to Warner and gaining commercial success (even to the point of touring with Flo Rider), DOLLS decided it just wasn’t right. So she sacked it off and started from scratch in London with new-found friend and producer, Fauxplay. And it’s shaping up to be her best decision yet.

 

These two solo artists have united and created something distinct from anything they had done independently before. It took less then half a year for this duo to find their sound and their place in the world, and here it is: unapologetic, 80s fuzz-pop.

 

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image: dollsxx.com

Vocalist and songwriter, DOLLS, is perhaps best described as the musical lovechild of Depeche Mode front-man, Dave Gahan and Gwen Stefani. After living the high-life of Warner-funded success, she is now approaching the music industry from a different perspective. In fact, DOLLS is currently completely self-funded, and running off word-of-mouth promotion which definitely involves more risk, and will hopefully end up to be more rewarding to the DIY sensation. It is really refreshing to see a strong female independent artist do her thing off her own back.

 

 

 

Despite having ‘commercially viable’ music that could easily be swept up and supported by the larger corporate labels, knowing this about DOLLS, this album holds an almost humble vibe throughout, while listening.

 

This album demonstrates the sort of confident, unrepentant lyrics that you normally see in a groups second or third album, not on their debut (even if it is her second debut). DOLLS knows what she is, she knows what she wants, and she knows how she’s going to get it. This is emphasised especially in the tracks ‘In Control‘ and ‘Doing It Correct‘. She has the sort of iconic voice that I could easily see booming off the walls of underground London clubs following its release. She glides through the album with fiesty lyrics, surrounded by hypnotic synth lines and 80s-esk beats that take you straight into a modern party vibe, but with a sinister undertone.

 

 

So get your claws around DOLLS + FAUXPLAY’s EAT IT UP this Friday, it will do exactly as its title states – Eat you up and not let you go. 

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image: dollsxx.com
DOLL’s website is an experience in itself…dollsxx.com
You can also check out DOLLS on InstagramtwitterFacebook, and soundcloud

Also, give Fauxplay a follow on twitterfacebook and soundcloud

 

Baker out.