‘Mayflower’ from Wes Finch(May 17, 2012)
Sometimes, just sometimes you come across an album that incorporates a combination of instruments that despite possibilities of a potential clash, fit together to perfection. And when you do, you often wonder just how they blend so well. One listen to ‘Mayflower’ from Wes Finch provides an answer – it takes a songwriter with vision and unrestrained ideas. This album features acoustic and electric ‘standards’ such as guitars, percussion, banjo, bass, mandolin and violin but there’s also inspired accents from flute, cornet, euphonium, tuba and flugelhorn. They’re an eclectic bunch to say the least, but added together Wes has formed them into a tight, melodious and highly engaging mix.
So where does this get you. It gets you to a place where a talented singer-songwriter has delivered an album that combines interesting lyrics, sharp arrangements and catchy melodies. ‘Mayflower’ is a well-crafted, immediately engaging acoustic/electric folky/rocky album, delivered with self-assurance and belief. The opening track ‘Tithe Barn’ consists of ambient samples of birds twittering, thunder, pigeons cooing, doors shutting and sombre brass, and morphs straight into the bouncy ‘Good Morning Captain’ complete with corpulent booming brass that fits right in. More sound samples – more twittering birds and insects this time - lead in the rock-edged pulsing ‘Close Enough For Rock ‘n’ Roll’ with keenly-pointed lyrics, and the short yet mournful reflection of the banjo-driven ‘I’ve Been Told’.
Interestingly, this is also an album of discovery as Wes delves into different treatments and styles, and much like the instruments, the whole comes together greater than its discreet elements. Each song stands alone and yet each contributes to the overall essence. You can share more of this musical exploration through the funky drive of ‘The One You Let Slip Away’, the soulful sadness of ‘Southern Cross’ and the country-rock of ‘Cold Hands, Warm Heart’ – it’sa journey you’re sure to enjoy.
A self-produced product of the ‘We Fund’ pledging model, which funds arts projects through collective patronage where artists promise to deliver in return for money pledged, ‘Mayflower’ repays the pledges in spades. And it’s clear that Wes has honoured his promise.
Reviewer: Dan Holland