Hi54LoFi artist A Singer of Songs, Lieven Scheerlinch has two album to his name, and this follow up Little Notes, a collaborative work with New Zealander, Hollie Fullbrook aka Tiny Ruins, perfectly unites the whispered dreamy folk of the pair.
Recorded in summer 2010 in Italy, and released on Underused Records, Little Notes allows the combined talents of Belgium born Barcelona based Lieven, and Hollie’s college composed songs to mingle and spawn. The construction of the album is an interesting one: four of the six tracks were penned and taped over the course of a few days when the duo, after months of email correspondence, finally met and toured together in Northern Spain. Previous collaborative work has found Hollie’s pipes on Lieven’s track “Road to Nowhere”, which of course was made possible before they had even met, thanks to email and home-recording abilities.
Tiny Ruins dominates the affair and it feels safe to say that the album, vocally, is hers, as the woody timbre vocals are perfectly suited to these tales of blustery evenings, late night journeys and within these, recurrent mentionings of crossing “to the other side”, pointing to lack of time and the fragility of life.
Guitar is mostly the only feature behind the vocals on this six-track, and it is merely a whisper compared to the vocals. On tracks like the lightly instrumented “Feathers” Fullbrook’s vocals allow the words she so pointedly utters to unravel before us, before they realign to conjure up subtle yet beautiful images that are steeped in a sepia haze of foggy memory and lost time (particularly fitting considering A Singer of Songs is inspired by what he calls ‘polaroid colours’). “Running Through the Night” frames a collection of stories from the perspective of a traveller who is “running through the night, always running out of time” and who, “on this swollen boat” observes the sadness in the other travellers eyes, searching for a story in each.
Fullbrook’s cello too accompanies her throughout adding to the listless sadness at the core of these songs. “Lost Son” meanders around the repeated lyric “I guess we only understood what you didn’t want to be”; sounding, as Scheerlinch’s troubadour vocals interject, like a solemn eulogy Damien Jurado might have penned.
It’s fair to say that travelling across the world in order to unite, write and record this collection will undoubtedly contain metaphors and imagery of the sea, journeys, darkness and loneliness with lyrics such as “Now I know the grace of home/Me just a blank face on the end of the phone” (“Down South”) making this all the more apparent.
Well suited to the cold, dark nights of the winter months this is a slow burner, perhaps a background listen at first but like the vocals that unravel and wrap around you tugging on your thoughts; it’s one that will refuse to let go until properly digested. After all misery and loneliness do love company so make sure you lend an ear to listen.
the EP is released/available on Dec 6th and you can purchase a copy for £5 over at http://www.underused-records.com/site/release