Paul Mosley – A Chattering Of Birds (Folkwit Records)
With fans ranging from Graham Coxon to Jools Holland, Paul Mosley has been called “a writer of genius songs”. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates finds out why.
When you’re faced with listening to an album of birdsongs, to say your passion is somewhat underwhelmed is a bit of an understatement. But wait a minute, this isn’t an album of Johnny Morris and his musings, this is an album of rather impressive quality.
The bird songs in question are beautifully crafted by a man who I have, for my sins, never previously heard of. Paul Mosley writes lovely folk-pop songs of endearing quality and unparalleled charm. Take the title track and opener with its wry “A chattering of birds, gets on my nerves”, blending Talk Talk with Colin Vearncombe’s Black, in an unusual and brave start to an album. Slow paced but perfect.
Hummingbird could almost be Seasick Steve both in terms of vocals and the blues / rock / boogie feel of the song. The fantastically dark The Beast oozes feeling and emotion and is simply stunning. Said beast circling in the air signalling the end.
The highlight of the album could well come in the shape of Red Crow. Sumptuous guitar playing and another brilliant lyric tipping a hat in the direction of Don McLean or Andy Fairweather Low. You can’t help but fall in love with songs like this, they grip you and don’t let go.
There are also hints of Mark Cohen and Tom McRae which lends testament to the diversity of the album with a great brass accompaniment on Champion. There are sweeping violins, double bass and harps itching to get out of some of the arrangements too. It’s a very refreshing album by an artist you really should check out, sounding a little American in parts (don’t let that put you off) and performing songs that deserve to be appreciated by a mass audience.
Album closer, Hey! It’s The End Of The World sees Paul reach incredibly high notes with an end to an album that you’ll want to listen to again and again. And any song with the line “Bring on the exploding dancing girls” immediately wins my approval.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. This article first appeared on his Blog here. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul has been working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, easily one of the best radio shows on the BBC. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow his personal twitter, @hiapop.>