|SOUTHER STILL "Dizziness And Darkness" (Open Plan Records)
Souther Still is a 4-piece Anglo-Kiwi combination from London, that makes music together for the last five years. They recorded "Dizziness And Darkness" (words from their song "Cuba Libre") in a cottage on the coast in Cornwall. Guitarist Kevin Stokes thought I might like the album, as they listen to the same music (Sid Griffin!) I've been enthusiastically writing about here. Boy, was he right! In fact, after one spin I was already floored... If 2007 has more music like this to offer, it will be the best year ever!
Bradley Putze, who -together with Kevin Stokes- wrote all the songs, has this kinda soothing folky vocal that easily keeps us spellbound for hours. The music is a well-balanced variety of alt.country and folk, with touches of melodic pop, lo-fi blues and boogie. Sometimes acoustic, sometimes with rocking electric (slide-) guitars and layered keyboards. Often the song is built up exactly the way I like it best: quiet (acoustic) intro and enter everything else along the way... These four musicians are experienced players, no doubt about that!
And those lyrics... Let's talk about the lyrics now! First time I hear a ringtone mentioned in a song: "Humming a ringtone that crept into my head / and I pray my income can match my bills." This one ("Forever The Fighter") also has the lavishly beautiful line: "The wind carries seeds from a place where the sea rocks steady under heaven's bass." In "Thirty Year Bouquet" it's simply said but we immediately see the image: "As you cross the bridge to the dirty side of town." Same goes for a clipping from "Moorgate": "But we see ourselves as seagulls on the breeze." And how about this fascinating line: "It's love just dressed in darker clothes, with history in her eyes." Indeed, these poetic lyrics often have love as the subject, but are dipped in wry realism, as life didn't get any easier... To brighten up our lives, we're fortunate to have the musical pearls from a band like Souther Still!
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, January 2007.