Monday, 11 August 2014
Album Review - Andrew Pearson & Lovers Turn To Monsters - Everything We Miss
Singer-songwriters, so the cliche goes, are an insular breed. Brooding over particulars of situations, fantasising, storing up images and stories for that next big 'hit'. Misunderstood, whether unintentionally or by design, they express themselves through the medium of song. What then to make of a collaborative album from two distinct, and arguably differing, singer-songwriters?
Everything We Miss is, as you might have guessed, a collaborative album from Andrew Pearson and Lovers Turn To Monsters, which sees each songwriter take the lead on half of the eight tracks on offer, taking alternate turns to muse about love, death and loss.
From the first few jangly chords of opener, My Dad doesn't really like my interests, I can only imagine he'd make of you the album sets it's stall out as a heart on sleeve affair. My Dad... is a track that long term LTTM fans may recognise from his 2012 tome Mumblecore. Here it is revived. Rekindled with love and dusting of alt-folk vibes, it's a much stronger track and a touching love song.
As we move to lead single Another Dawn the toing and froing between Pearson and Wood begins. With Pearson taking the lead Another Danw is the albums poppiest moment, with its infectious guitar hooks and fast paced rhythm, plus the sweet backing vocals of Lidh. Quick on it's heels is fellow single track Juan Antonio, a Lovers Turn To Monsters led ballad about those moments of sheer unadulterated bliss and happiness. The production on the track is excellent, with Pearson's backing guitars and the waves lapping, making this possibly one of the finest Lovers Turn To Monsters songs ever. Credit must be given to the albums producer Chris Marr, esperi fame, who has really lifted both singers up a notch.
Not to be outdone, Pearson has his own moments of tenderness, none more so than Notes In The Cupboard. Pearson's lyrics; of loss and memories; tug the heartstrings, while the gentle piano and clarinet slowly build to an all encapsulating crescendo. Elsewhere album closer You'll Be The Death Of Me is another spectacular effort, with haunting clarinet solo, shimmering percussion and beautiful lyrics. A lesson in melancholia.
Collobration or not, no Lovers Turn To Monsters album would be complete without a song about death. Record Collection romps and races with racous guitars around the taboo topic, noting the 'hangovers' experienced following a loved ones death.
With each singer-songwriter taking the lead on half the album tracks, one might ask if this album is more of a split record than a collaboration. The answer, would be a firm no. It's clear to see how each songwriters style, influence and presence affects the other, and perhaps unlike lo-fi efforts of the past, the instrumentalisation is just as important to the record. Whether this partnership will bear further fruit remains to be seen, but for now this is an album that can stand as a testiment to each man's ability to write memorable music.
- Neil Wilson
Andrew Pearson & Lovers Turn To Monsters - Everything We Miss is out now via Common Records. You can purchase the album on cassette, vinyl or digital download here.