The Downtown Merrylegs are a Parisian based band made up of musicians from around the world,playing the songs of singer songwriter Charlie Seymour. This is their first physical release after building their reputation as a live act. Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham has been listening to it, read what he thinks below.
The Downtown Merrylegs are based in Paris and come from all around the world, they play a blend of folk balladry with a punk sensibility. The album is called Songs for the Seinne and the music flows languidly and softly downstream. It sounds as if the river is by your side as you sit and contemplate life. Sounds like a sound matured by years, as if they have known each other many years and just know what to do next, fitting together like lovers hands. It’s another facet to the sounds created by Charlie Seymour and friends, the last release I heard by Charlie was the brilliant Regal Kings album reviewed by louder then war here.
There are only six songs here, I say only because I could have listened to at least as many more again. All effortless in their cool and all quite beautiful. ‘A Thousand Mandolins’ is languid, Charlie’s voice as always perfect, a soulful sound with a very slight gravel edge, just enough to make the singing capture you and take you away. You can feel the river passing by as the song is sung, flowing off with the music. ‘Waiting for the Band’ starts off with the noises of a circus but it gives the feeling of sitting in a cigarette smoke filled bar sipping whiskey late at night. ‘Kallithea Girl’ is delicate and soft. It’s a folk song with an equal measure of love and regret in the vocals. The background sounds make you feel that you are in a cafe listening to it with bright sunshine coming through the window as you squint with hungover eyes.
‘Midnight Song’ is slow and even more soulful, you imagine sitting watching it being sung by a band on red velvet curtained stage. It’s a torch song very sad and low. ‘Came Calling’ is the closest track here to the Regal Kings, it’s a full on funky swagger. With choppy guitar and brass giving it a sexy soulful swing. ‘Claveral’ is back to a folky sound. It’s an easy and wide open song. The feeling is of setting off on a journey, walking away into something new, the vocal is open, emotive and as gloriously soulful as ever.
This is an album to saviour, to listen to over and again and to drift away in the sound, it’s one for sundrenched days and cloudy nights. It’s one that you will love, just for the sound, just for the soul.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.