There have been a string of new local releases recently and the latest in that impressive line is the lovely new offering by Bark Prelude, following up The Start of Something Minor from a couple or so years back.
The new album is entitled Flatter to Deceive. Given an official release date of 20 July it features a host of local musicians, notably Fran Broady on gorgeous violin on about half the tracks, alongside the core of the outfit, Philip Lewis-Jones on piano and vocals who is also the songwriter of all tracks. Fran has been playing alongside Philip for a few months, and the last handful of gigs have also featured the latest full time addition to the band, Gary Cole-Wilkin on bass. The album also features contributions from Ruth Murray, Andy Butler, Pete Warner (Pedz), Eric Childs, Slim Tim Bick, David Riggs, Jinnie Barham, Louisa Young, Helen Boreham, and Richard Penguin.
Anyone who has seen Bark Prelude live will know the delicate and subtle nature of many of the songs and this has been captured very sensitively on record giving the songs room to breathe allowing the listener to fully appreciate the subtlety of the playing but especially the songwriting. Philip has a gift for writing and the delivery is clear and expressive. Despite a wonderfully unexpected expletive in the first track, A Simple Man, there is a tender touch and a touching tenderness to so many of the tracks, also especially on live favourite Death on the Riverbank which is included here. A more sensitive narrative on the Raoul Moat/Paul Gascoigne incident of some years back it is hard to imagine.
As well as the tender side there is plenty of variety in pace and mood, the next track Hello or Goodbye has a positively upbeat tempo to the slightly dark or wistful mood. It’s wonderful stuff, and with nice continuity with the following track, Fly.
An album strong on atmosphere, songwriting, melody, playing and production throughout with recurring themes of the sea and water, dreams and sleep, and a girl in the dream, it is quite a treat, almost Gainsbourg-like at times with a playfulness alongside some of the darker topics.
Flatter to Deceive, by Bark Prelude, released 20 July 2015 and available from: https://barkprelude.bandcamp.com/
and also from iTunes, Amazon, etc.
Here is a clip of Bark Prelude at a recent Grapevine, with a new composition entitled Light of Winter.
The album contains 12 original songs penned by Philip Lewis-Jones, and has received airplay and praise from Tom Robinson (6Music), whilst Classic Rock Society Magazine described it as “12 slices of intimate, light and dark songs. Fresh, captivating and uplifting English songwriting at its quintessentially understated best.”
The album also features musical contributions from Fran Broady (violin), Ruth Murray (backing vocals and flute), Andy Butler (electric bass), Gary Cole-Wilkin (double bass), Pete Warner (drums), Eric Childs (drums), Richard Penguin (congas) Slim Tim Bick (electric guitar/vocals), David Riggs (electric guitar), Jinnie Barham (soprano), Louisa Young (clarinet), Helen Boreham (accordion).