Enderby’s Room: Enderby’s Room
Fika Recordings – 21 April 2017
I’m quite sure all good music is simple. It all comes down to a song, a melody, and a way to touch your listener’s heart. A lone guy with a guitar can be as moving as an entire orchestra.
Enderby’s Room is fiddle player Dan Mayfield, born in rural Lincolnshire, now living in London. Mayfield has played violin for artists like Daniel Johnston, Darren Hayman, The Wave Pictures, and many more. In addition to being a sideman extraordinaire, he’s also a songwriter. Over the past ten years he has built up a collection of songs, which he performs with his band Enderby’s Room ( the name comes from an Anthony Burgess character called Mr Enderby who composed his prose inside the toilet).
And so this is Enderby’s Room self-titled debut, ten years in the making in a manner of speaking, no doubt a very satisfying accomplishment in and of itself.
I have to suppress the urge to make a rather obvious wine-comparison here, but…well, let’s say the last ten years were well spent for Enderby’s Room.
What we have here is a minimalist, understated collection of pastoral songs gently washing over you like a soft breeze or the warming rays of the afternoon sun. The core of this album’s sound is Mayfield’s guitar and vocals, plus the harmonised vocals and harmonium playing of Emma Winston.
Lakeside is a beautiful opener, featuring lovely vocal harmonies over minimal guitar finger picking and mournful, drawn-out fiddle lines.
Instrumental David the Gnome has a whimsical, childlike quality that fits the title. It features glockenspiel, toy keyboards and sparse banjo reminiscent of Japanese experimental duo Lullatone.
Birds is the musical equivalent of a haiku, minimalist to the core, a little gem of acoustic pop perfection. While Grey Stones is another pretty pastoral tune with exquisite vocal harmonies.
Another instrumental is Mr Enderby’s, delicate guitar stylings over a melancholy hum laid down by French horn and harmonium, droning along blissfully before morphing into a triumphantly elegant finale.
Picking up the pace is My Old Friend, a catchy, ukulele-driven ditty that bops along merrily, a natural choice for a single. File under cheery indiefolk pop with a bittersweet undertone.
Closer “I’ll find You” is a melancholy lullaby, drifting along gently into a hazy monochromatic landscape on clouds of harmonium drones and vocal harmonies.
Enderby’s Room is a touching collection of minimalist lo-fi folk songs, with nods to indie-pop and traditional folk. Having been in the works for ten years, this album needs to be savoured slowly and gently like a glass of well-aged wine ( couldn’t help myself!)
Enderby’s Room is Out Now. Order via Bandcamp: http://shop.fikarecordings.com/album/enderbys-room
WED 21 JUNE – St Pancras Old Church, London, UK
FRI 28 JULY – SUN 30 JULY – Indietracks 2017, Ripley, UK