Not that we’re complaining, but it’s certainly noticeable that the early days of Spring have a habit of bringing folk-y popsters and singer-songwriters out from whichever twee haunts they’ve been hibernating in, with Fleet Foxes dropping new tracks, Bon Iver returning from making sweet sweet 31st Century hip-hop with Kanye to announce a new album, and… well, I don’t need more examples, it just does.
On first listen of ‘Trampoline’, Aaron Wright’s first single sent forth from his self-titled debut album, you may be tempted to throw the 23 year old Scot in the same singer-songwriter bag, labelled “a bit less maudlin and more pop, a bit like that lovely album by Stornoway”. But that probably wouldn’t be fair.
Give the record more of a spin and you’ll see other tracks, such as the stompy ‘Go on Yerself’ and the irresistible harmonious opener ‘I’ll Be Fine’, betray a greater sense of ambition. With more trumpets, horns and strings than you can wave an orchestra conductor’s baton at, there’s much more there musically than the usual folk troubadour fare – no doubt partly thanks to the familiar talents of Belle & Sebastian’s Steve Jackson and Mick Cooke and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub playing behind the scenes .
Repeated listens will pick up also the ad-libbed, and sometimes not quite legible, vocals Aaron employs to varying effect. It’s usually a pleasant change of pace from the over-thoughtfulness that sometimes smothers these kind of tunes, but on closer ‘Origami Me’, for example, you begin to feel the lack of a sense of depth that this leaves behind.
It doesn’t matter too much though, because depth or no depth, this is still a charming debut, with just enough Beatles-meets-Paolo Nutini-esque quirky melodies and genuine wry lyrical wistfulness to make sure it is worth your time.
Aaron Wright’s debut album is out soon on d-set Records, you can find out more about Aaron here. Or check out the lead single ‘Trampoline’ below.