Postcards From Jeff – Modern Language

Postcards from Jeff _RingMaster Review

Modern Language is the name of the new single and album from UK artist Postcards from Jeff, and both propositions which capture the imagination in a mix of dusty Americana, alternative rock intimacy, and dreamily emotive atmospheres with cinematic landscapes. Killing two birds with one stone, we are taking a look at the ten-track full-length, a serenade of reflective charm and melancholic isolation which takes the listener into the heart of relatively undisturbed scenery as calm and rich in beauty as it is loneliness.

Postcards From Jeff is rural Yorkshire hailing, Manchester based Joss Worthington, the band a project living and breathing between the artist’s work in the studio producing for other artists. Last year Worthington released Postcards From Jeff’s self-titled debut EP, it and the pair of award winning filmmaker Steve Glashier directed videos it spawned, sparking potent attention towards the band. With the single Suburban Girl already successfully making its mark on 2015, and another trio of videos, again with Glashier at the helm, to accompany the album, Modern Language brings a fresh and alluring escapism for ears, imagination, and most likely the artist himself from the mundane of every day.

Postcards from Jeff - Modern Language _RingMaster Reviewart   That previous single opens up the album, Suburban Girl quickly engaging ears and appetite with its caress of eighties bred melodies and keys honed tempting. Soon joined by the plainer but no less persuasive vocal tones of Worthington, the song wraps around and tenderly engulfs ears and attention with its warm catchiness and emotive substance. Guest drums appear courtesy of Chris Smith, his rapier like beats an organic prompt within the flowing charm of the song where not for the last time on the album, musically the song invites thoughts of bands like China Crisis and The Bluebells whilst the songwriting and rich layer of hooks and melodies within the track have an Ian Broudie like feel, essences which only add to the captivation of song and release.

The following Japanese Man O’ War is similarly infectious and gently energetic, additional vocals from Clare Stagg adding to the provocative warmth soaking the rhythmic drama crafted by Smith. Worthington’s keys provide an emotive narrative which is a worldly as it is personal within a song simultaneously projecting out of the way life and cosmopolitan business in the imagination before making way for the fuzz dreamscape of A House. With electronic beats almost primal in their organic presence, the track is a sonic soundtrack to a sepia clad outlook with tantalising glides through shimmering radiance triggered by provocative keys. More of a smoulder initially compared to its predecessors, ears and thoughts are nevertheless firmly and eagerly involved.

The country scent of Tired Wings brings a clearer, less fuzzy ambience with it which accentuates the tang of the guitar and the inviting rumbles of rhythms. Stagg also returns to kiss the senses with her reserved yet siren-esque harmonies, the combination a glow within the romancing, very slightly Smiths like, body of the song. It is a masterful tempting swiftly backed by the same potency of Goddess Of The Sun, its enterprise as resourceful and adventurous as its voice is sublimely persuasive.

New single Modern Language comes next spreading an oriental/worldly flirtation from its first touch on ears. Keys again conjure a hug of multi-cultural reflection whilst the Mike Doughty like texture of Worthington’s vocals provide a great grounding to the melodic flight leading the imagination and emotions into bold and insular adventures. The song is spellbinding, simply a fascinating and infectious doorway into the craft and world of Postcards From Jeff.

Both Samaritans and Wide Eyed Wonder keep satisfaction rich, the first with its enthralling Lightning Seeds like melody fuelled ambience around punchy rhythms and spicy hooks and its successor through a more of a low key but no less hook stocked tempting. The second of the two misses the spark of the first but is still only pleasing and the same can be said of Lay Low, a croon which gets under the skin emotionally and atmospherically but fails to whip up personal tastes in the same way as those before it.

Modern Language comes to a close with Awake, a pulsating dance of crystalline keys and shadowy rhythms infesting feet and ears with relaxed zeal against the contrast of the plainer dustier delivery of Worthington’s vocals. There is also an undefined familiarity to the track which adds to the pleasure and brings the album to a potent conclusion.

Postcards From Jeff creates songs which manage to be as visual for the imagination as they are vibrant for the ears, the band name itself the perfect representative to the emotional travelogue of the songwriting and indeed Modern Language.

Modern Language is released on October 23rd.

https://www.facebook.com/postcardsfromjeff    https://twitter.com/postcardsfromj   http://www.postcardsfromjeff.com/

Pete Ringmaster 21/0/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Woody Woodgate – In Your Mind

Woody with Dan_RingMaster Review

It is a bit of a surprise that Madness drummer Woody Woodgate has only now unveiled a debut solo album, though given the busyness of the man over the years with various projects as well as of course with the Nutty Boys similarly it is not. Anyway the time has come and the enjoyably charming In Your Mind does not disappoint.

Taking the opportunity to hit the studio with fresh ideas whilst the Magic Brothers has been put on hold due to an on-going battle with mental health issues for his brother Nick, the other half of the acclaimed band, Woodgate has created a collection of melody rich pop songs which vivaciously dance on the senses and imagination. They also carry an openly personal and intimate aspect to them, playing like a kaleidoscope of reflections from the life of their creator whilst shimmering on and seducing the ears.

With vocalist Dan Shears aligning his unique and captivating tones to the sounds of Woodgate, contributions from guitarist/keyboardist Tim Maple, bassist Dan Drury, Madness’ brass section The Brass Monkeys, wife Siobhan Fitzpatrick, and brother Nick bringing their skills to the magnetic release also, In Your Mind swiftly has thoughts engaged as it opens with This Is It. The track is a brief scene setter, a glimpse of life breeding the spark to go on ‘romantic’ escapades, they starting with the following Magic Train. Instantly the song, through keys and a jazzy air, is an escape from the mundane into vibrant adventure, melodies and grooves flirting with the imagination whilst beats dance with ears and feet. The expressive tones of Shears bring their alluring colour to the ‘trip’ soon after, his voice courting songs like an enjoyable mix of Ian Broudie and Ste McCabe, and indeed here but more so across the album strong whispers to The Lightning Seeds kiss the music too. Becoming richer and thicker with every passing temptation, the song is an inescapable infection getting the album off to a strong and highly pleasing start.

woodywoodgate_inyourmind-_RingMaster Review     A spicy tang coats the following Something, guitar and keys bringing a smattering of country rock to their enterprise whilst vocals and harmonies swing with catchy revelry throughout. A bluesy tone also adds to the energetically creative waltz of the song whilst the brass seducing is simply the cream on the top of another captivating persuasion before the bewitching stroll of the album’s title track slips in. Bred in a sixties pop smile and melodies which quickly bring the sounds of Kirsty MacColl to mind, the song is a serenade for the summer, a warm kiss of pop which simply blossoms in strength and persuasion with every listen, in sound and the just as potent intimacy fuelling the lyrics.

Come To Me is just as irresistible straight after, though admittedly taking longer to find the same depth of reactions as other songs upon the album. There is a strong resemblance to UK indie pop band The Tonics in the song at times, but once the brass free their rich flames, the song soars into celestial climates. One of the numerously pleasing aspects of songs is the ‘simplicity’ of the lyrical side, a repetitious flare which just works, in choruses especially, but never defuses the thick emotive strength of words and intent as it graces the tenaciously spun web of catchy sounds.

The Beach marks our arrival at the seaside, its joyful lure the lead into the warm embrace and festivity of We’re All Going To Brighton. Everything about the track from the smouldering brass caresses and swaying vocals to the energetic but relaxed rhythms says escape, relief from the pressures and boredom of life’s normal days whether as a child or adult we have all felt, its charm and presence sublimely relating those emotions and excitements.

The ska seeded Friday Night To Sunday Morning saunters through ears with a dreamy glaze to its poetic pop hug. The song almost glistens as guitars, harmonies, and brass venture into their imaginative exploits, rhythms in turn bringing their own pulsating shadow, wrapped bait to the sultriness of the song. There is no escaping a feel of Madness to the rich atmosphere and happy-go-lucky sway of the song either, or another potent slice of distinct variety within the album as also on offer in Everything Is Sunshine and its tantalising croon awash with an eighties pop lure which occasionally whispers Squeeze and The Bluebells. The track quickly has the listener involved though it is soon outshine by the excellent Flower and its psyche pop beauty. ELO has reportedly been an inspiration to the songs within In Your Mind, and for sure the legendary Birmingham rock pop band is a delicious hue to the siren-esque majesty of the album’s best track, though that choice does vary from listen to listen if we are honest.

The funky psychedelic tango of Mother comes next, the song a sweltering breath of seventies inspired blues/pop rock which at times feistily simmers and in other moments enflames with tenacious ingenuity. Its success is followed by the electro rock exploration of Shaman where within its relatively gentle hug on the senses drama bubbles away, creative and emotive shadows colluding with emotive energies for a fascinating and invigorating theatre of sound.

The album is brought to a close through Thank You and its melancholic yet vibrant balladry of emotional textures and words. You can feel the heart of Woodgate fuelling its presence and sentiment, portrayed potently by Shears and only accentuated by the expanding and evocative sounds around him.

It is a fine end to an increasingly enthralling and enjoyable proposition. It is easy to assume something similar to Madness from the encounter but In Your Mind swiftly sets that thought straight and just grows with every listen. At its height it is majestic and throughout is one nonstop summer of nostalgic incitement and warm enjoyment, an encounter you firmly resolve to hurry back to time and time again even before it runs its first course.

In Your Mind is available now via DW Records

http://www.woodywoodgate.co.uk/

RingMaster 07/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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