Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Schemeing Fretwell

I've been a busy but very lucky boy this last couple of days. On Monday the small student-run music magazine for whom I write gave me an interview with one Ed Harcourt, who in case you weren't already aware is a talented Sussex-born singer-songwriter with six albums and a greatest hits to his name, all since 2000. I'd post you a track or two of his, but we spoke at one point of Radiohead's new venture in downloading and he twisted it to guilt me out terrifically. He was a very nice boy though.

Then, yesterday, I get given another interview. This time it was with Stephen Fretwell, another singer-songwriter, but one with whom I am far more aquainted (musically, at least). I met up with him on his tourbus, and whilst chatting casually about his friends, and my favourite band, Elbow, Fretwell casually revealed that the band's bassist was actually asleep in the bunk next to him at that moment. He lifted the curtain to prove it, too. So that was exciting. But to the point...

Fretwell is arguably the best singer-songwriter England has on offer right now. His 2004 debut Magpie is full of delicate and sparse tracks comparable to both Dylan and Oberst, and now his sophmore offering, Man On The Roof, has just been released. It tops Magpie, which itself was fantastic, in ways unforeseeable. There are still the Dylan sounds, the Bright Eyes nature. But influences more diverse, and equally more close to home, are easily picked up on. A particular influence is, indeed, the band Elbow, and this comes through no where better than on The Scheme. It was a small disappointment Fretwell chose not to play it in his gig last night, seeing as he'd snatched not just the bassist of Elbow, but the drummer too, for his tour. But I'm okay with it, he's a fantastic live artist, and equally awesome in the comfort of your own headphones.

mp3: 'The Scheme' by Stephen Fretwell

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