Kevin Pearce – Dynamite (AWAL/Pearcemelodies)
27 October 2014
Alternative folk singer/songwriter releases his new album. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
This is a pleasing little beast (the album that is, not Kevin Pearce, although I’m sure he’s lovely chap). Eleven tracks from the Essex man confidently written and arranged with a voice that could often melt candy floss from forty paces.
Opener Dynamite isn’t as explosive as its title would suggest despite starting with a semi-crash of percussion it soon settles into a gentler affair with an effective guitar stroke and pleasing chant. It’s not long before comparisons to Tom Mcrae and Turin Brakes appear, so it’s particularly interesting to see Tom and Olly Knights appear on the track Bedlam.
There are similarities too to maybe Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens, and that’s heaped praise indeed. Kevin fits neatly into a niche of beautiful folk writers with a modern twist and he excels at sending you somewhere incredibly tranquil and warm.
The thread to Dynamite (the character) and its story is complicated making the songs ironic in their simplicity. There’s also a comic book (or graphic novel if you will) to accompany the album which weaves the two media together.
Bedlam floats into the sky gorgeously and in a short space of time takes a hold of your senses and caresses them lovingly. Album highlight The Tales Of The Stardust is maybe the strongest link to Cat Stevens and also Donovan as Kevin’s soft tones are taken down a tone or two in an effectual piece that again is superbly produced (which he also does as well as playing most of the instruments).
The tones continue right up to the albums end – serene songs full of passion and heart – taking in enthralling The Tired Fighter along the journey. And a journey is what Dynamite is. From start to finish it glides effortlessly through sumptuous tracks of glorious quality. Kevin writes way beyond his years and should be one of those names that rolls off the tip of your tongue.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul is working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter, @hiapop.