Most of us live our lives like kings, but we’re too busy complaining to really consider this. Even an average income in a country blessed with relative stability is enough to afford you the kinds of luxuries that fat, rich kings of the olden days, the ones convinced that the Earth revolved around them, could only dream of. Still, you like to complain about the government trying to do you in, don’t you?
Well, the same kind of low-key luxuries has spilled out into the music-making world. Whereas not long before fate to have smiled on you and awarded you a recorded contract with a major record label, nowadays anyone can make music. Still, you actually have to want to make it, have ideas worthy of being captured and have enough drive to get off the couch to do it.
Blake’s “Solomon’ Tump” sounds like The Beatles if the Fab Four were actually just one modern bloke working side jobs, jotting down ideas for lyrics while doing errands and using his own instincts and cheap gear instead of Geroge Mart and a state-of-the-art recording studio.
Album opener, “Solomon’s Tump”, sounds like a 60s psychedelic garage-rocker, a tune about regular places that might just have some magic hidden inside of them.
The same DYI retro pop feel can be enjoyed “Beat Myself Up,” “Silver Sun”, or the guitar-centric instrumental “Bernard’s Theme.” These are songs powered by a fogy, fuzzed rock sound benefitting from Lo-Fi production.
The recordings are not a long way removed from the kinds of things that the legendary the Velvet Underground might have considered when left to their own devices. And, I’d like to imagine that had Andy Warhol demanded Lou Reed be substituted for the band’s debut record, a time-travelling Blake could take the reins. He’d just ask that, firstly, any talk about a recording budget be scrapped.
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