Jeremy Tuplin – I Dreamt I was an Astronaut
Folkwit Records – 29 September 2017
Jeremy Tuplin is an English folk artist whose musical vision extends well beyond the boundaries of the traditional folk genre. The press release goes so far as to describe his music as “space folk.”
That may be a stretch, but the first thing that strikes the listener is the extensive, cinematic sonic quality of his new release I dreamt I Was an Astronaut. The album’s sound is built on the songwriters’ staple, gently plucked acoustic guitar, augmented by tribal drums, majestic cello, analog synths, and more ear candy that veers somewhere between neo-psychedelia and vintage Nick Drake melodrama.
Jeremy Tuplin’s vocal delivery is understated, almost deadpan, delicately articulating, sounding like a cross between a manic depressive literature professor and a hung-over Stuart Staples from Tindersticks.
The album starts off with a ( Big?) bang, in “Albert Einstein Song”, which talks about Bowie’s death and then wonders simply, “is there something bigger?” The age-old question, and this track could be imagined as a follow up to Bowie’s 70s hit single “Space Oddity” and the tragic story of Major Tom getting lost in space.
“O Youth!” is a sweetly ironic ode to youth, with a cool Flaming Lips vibe, all mellotron strings, plunky bass and hyper-compressed drums while “Anybody Else” has a slight Pixies vibe, and is an endearing folk pop tune.
Lead single “Astronaut” starts out as a minimal acoustic tune and then is joined by a gut-wrenchingly sad reverb-drenched synth string section. This song is a study in understatement and tugs at one’s heartstrings quite effectively. My favourite track of the album.
Jeremy Tuplin may be the missing link between Nick Drake and ‘Space Oddity’-era Bowie. “I dreamt I was an Astronaut” is an engaging piece of work, blending excellent folk-based songwriting with creative and gently overarching production that fittingly frames Tuplin’s songs, taking them to a different and unexpected place. On second thoughts, maybe “space folk” is the perfect description of this album.
Order I Dreamt I was an Astronaut here https://folkwitrecords.bandcamp.com