Phonotonal

Chris Singleton
Twisted City LP

Dublin Based songwriter Chris Singleton has clearly spent a lot of his young years absorbing the best bits of forty years of British music. Chris’ debut album Twisted City runs the sprint from Beatles tinged pop, to glam rock, punk (complete with Sid Vicious impersonator) and delicate acoustic numbers.

Twisted city is (don’t run away now) a concept album. Set out as a series of snapshots of life and love as seen from his crowded seat on the London underground, Singleton weaves revealing personal yarns around geographical references and fragments of ideas scribbled down on the back of tube tickets and newspapers.

While it’s clear that there are a number of key influences on this record, the one that shines most brightly is The Beatles. In fact, half of these tunes of summery, almost R and B tinged power pop could have walked right onto any of the bands late sixties output – In particular opener ‘Worry Number One’ (think Back in the USSR only shifted to NW1) with breezy harmonies, clunky guitars and a sparse production that leaves plenty of room for the main selling point; Chris’ voice (think Lennon or Neil Finn) to operate in.

The lyrics on first listen seem a little trite and forced at times, but on repeated listens (you cant help it – don’t try and deny it) seem an almost innocent plea for understanding from a young man lost in a strange place – both geographically and personally.

Personally I would have preferred to see a little more variety in the arrangements and instrumentation on offer here – maybe half a dozen of these tracks seem to operate to the same template but as summer listening goes this is near perfect. With a smattering of radio support for one or two of these tracks, Singleton could well have written himself the sleeper hit of the year.

Rubber Soul for the 21st century anyone? Yes please! Roll on his White Album.

Guest article from Ben M.

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