Catch The Brass Ring
With a name like that he just had to be a star. The superbly-monikered Ferraby Lionheart has followed a somewhat itinerant existence following his muse, from LA to Nashville, up to Chicago and back to LA again, but judging by his debut album the travelling has certainly been worth it. These 11 tracks are imbued with a slow sense of yearning for a more innocent era, with a shimmering timelessness to the arrangements and vocals that is gently attractive from start to end.
The creaking opener 'Un Ballo Della Luna' is submerged in humid contentment from years gone by, whilst the delicate porchside blues of the charming 'Youngest Frankenstein' deserves to be reprised around embering campfires all over the land. Elsewhere the wistful nostalgia of an old schoolhall piano puts the listener in mind of Jon Brion, above all on the truly lovely intimacy of 'Call Me The Sea' - the standout track and a song that would have fitted perfectly on Brion's 'Eternal Sunshine...' soundtrack with its delicately toned upright bass. Indeed, it's no surprise that Brion has been credited with noticing the young artist - he's the most obvious touchstone here, especially on the piano-led tracks.
It's not all muted downbeat contemplation however; 'A Bell And Tumble', furnished with Lear-esque lyrics ("My love was swallowed by a whale / we danced a waltz inside his tail / with chandeliers and candlelight the ocean sparkled in the night") spins an effervescent chorus worthy of Rufus Wainwright (albeit on his less flamboyant days), and the New Orleans flourish of 'Before We're Dead' invites - nay, demands - the listener to kick up heels and join the party, if only for a short while before the crafted introspection returns.
If you're a fan of the aforementioned Rufus or Brion then, or harbour a soft spot for Elvis Perkins or Elliot Smith's less maudlin moments, this should be an essential purchase. Highly recommended.
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