My cousin, who lives in France and works at FIP radio station, visited here three weeks ago. This visit left a big mark on me.
She brought me tons of good music and promo copies etc, and this is how I came to know Fitzcarraldo Project and other things too. These other things included the new CD of a new singer called Ed Laurie. He is already 38 years old, so actually, he is not that new), but his first full album, Small Boat, Big Sea, is indeed refreshing.
He is a British singer/songwriter, holding and mastering a classic guitar. He released 12 perfect pop-folk songs, constituting this charming album. You can hear Randy Newman, Tom Waits and Fred Neil in the way he writes. His voice is pleasant, thoughtful, distant. It reminds me most of all the Scottish – James Yorkston. This actually reminds me to pick up the phone and call him – it has been three weeks since he released his last album.
This album was released in the French label, Tot Ou Tard, which released among other things Yael Naim’s album, who became a great hit in France. The album opens with the introspective Albert, which borrowed a little too much of Edit Piaf, but never mind, it’s so graceful and charming that I don’t really care.
The title song, Small Boat, Big Sea, was produced by Israeli Eldad Guetta, which is totally cool. It’s a more rhythmic song, with wandering and traveling spirit, exactly like this blog likes it. Now Then is the most James Yorkston song, which at one point sounds like it went for a walk in the neighborhood of freak-folk – not so much in terms of sound because it is much more polished then Veitver’s tree-huggers, but the folk writing style reminds me of them, and maybe this is not a coincidence because Andalucia is somewhat Devendra-like.
My favorite is Never The Same Day Twice, because of its stringarrangment And its dreamy special presentation. Together with mastering the guitar so well it reminds me of you-know-who, the one that nobody wants to compare anybody to anymore, Nick Drake. Laurie isn’t imitating Drake, but you can hear Drake’s holly ghost hovering above. By the way, you can also hear some Jose Gonzalez in here too.
All in all, Ed Laurie’s new album is not about to change the world, but is indeed a recommended listening for Saturday morning/the end of a long day. It belongs to one of these charming beautiful albums, engraved in your memory, just like Yorkston’s albums: they pass you by, come to live at your place for a week or two, then they move somewhere else, just so you could take them off the shelf every few weeks, for another 50 minutes of pure, non-committing and effortless joy