Whether gripping attention with a rousing energy or laying an evocative caress on the senses, Myriads, the debut album from British singer-songwriter Officer, is an emotionally mesmeric and invigoratingly compelling adventure for ears and imagination. It is an exhilarating introduction to one of the most exciting songwriters to emerge in recent times and more than shows why its creator’s fans took it upon themselves to help push the release and artist towards a national recognition.
Officer is the musical moniker of Dc Logan, a musician born into the raw council estate life of Glasgow before spending much of his early upbringing in Northern Ireland during the height of the troubles. With poetry, short stories, and illustration already blooming from his imagination, Logan turned to music from the moment he picked up his father’s old guitar on the night The Good Friday Agreement was laid down. Eventually a move to London ensued and the creation of punk band Colourcode, they releasing a pair of EPs and one album across five years. Also dedicating his time and effort to helping the homeless and poor, Logan’s music and songs continued to evolve and breed their own heart and voice, every experience and aspects of life he has owes and come across seemingly adding another rich hue lyrically and musically to his songs. It has earned Officer a cult following, loyal fans which without the knowledge of Logan united and set up a support network to raise funds for the artist to record and now take his music to the broadest attention. The result is Myriads; a kaleidoscope of life, emotion, and invention which simply enthrals.
The album opens with Laughing Rafters and a gentle, suggestive shuffle of melodic and ambient sound. The potent coaxing is soon embracing the strong tones of Logan, his voice as vibrant as it is melancholic and a captivating mix matching the similarly provocative sounds continuing to brew around his engaging presence. As quickly as the song entices musically, so it does lyrically, an intimacy and easy relatable reflection wrapping every word and syllable. It is a potency fuelling every song in their individual adventures, and here casting a thick croon of folk and melodic rock tempting. Like The National meets Jeff Buckley with a touch of Doves thrown in, the song is a fiercely magnetic start.
Glass Ceiling, also from an elegantly restrained start, builds its own drama of sound and intensity next, flowing twists through emotional calms and rousing crescendos colluding for an irresistible anthem for body, emotions, and simply one’s own energy. The song is wholly immersive but with a virulence which dictates body and energy to leave the listener on an inflamed high which the following Can We Talk? tempers with its warm serenade but also continues through its infectiously poetic musical and emotional presence. The song is pure bewitchment, thickening in tone and drama with every passing minute to also leave rich pleasure and fascination in its wake.
As impressive and thrilling as it and its predecessors are, Act of Survival strikes a new plateau of thrills and incitement. Straight away rapier like rhythms pierce strolling melody soaked riffs and chords as Logan’s voice paints another striking and gripping lyrical revelation. The track is glorious, at times finding hues which remind of The Cure and in other moments of bands like British Sea Power and Johnny Wore Black, whilst sculpting its own unique theatre of original songwriting and heart bred enterprise.
The gentle but increasingly tempestuous haunting kiss of One Day comes next, its emotive resonance a lingering hug which eventually makes way for the tenacious and lively roar of The Waters. Again early Cure springs to mind as guitars and rhythms unleash slim but inescapable lures, whilst melodically and vocally there is a Placebo like lilt to the breath-taking waltz. It is a track to get the mind turning and blood rushing through the body, all the better for the inspired almost hidden echo which simply adds an ingenious extra depth to the already full-blooded and rounded, and not forgetting quite brilliant encounter.
Both Ambulance and DATV ensure there is no noticeable dip after such a pinnacle. The first is a tantalising slice of dark folk with a sultry air around shadow wrapped strings and acoustic expression whilst its successor, from the same kind of template, explores an even darker heart enlivened with more of the haunting textures and imagination which Logan has already revealed being skilfully adept at brewing. The pair sublimely entices appetite and imagination before Elisabeth holds ears with a balladry which is as explosive as it is serene. As across every track on the album, resourceful unpredictability and inspired boldness shapes and guides the hypnotic proposal, and again a spellbinding proposition is the outcome.
My Darling Defibrillator takes us next on another climatic and at times atmospherically sweltering flight of invention and emotional turmoil, the song absorbing the listener in raw and impassioned beauty whilst seducing ears through to psyche, with another major incitement within Myriads.
The album is completed by the thoughtful and provocative serenade of Burst and finally the sonic bordering on harrowing, emotionally imposing AFM. They are two tracks which may not find the heights of those before but bring the album to a hugely evocative closure. Many moons back certain tingles and pleasure was found in the Black debut album Wonderful Life, a solo release which has stayed in thoughts and an ever evolving personal soundtrack ever since with the same potency. Those same ‘chills’ arose with Myriads and it is easy to suspect Officer will become the same kind of persistent encounter for us and a great many more old and new hearts within his already impacting fan base.
Myriads is available from 31st July and can be pre-ordered now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id1018844878