It`s fourteen years since Newton Faulkner arrived on the scene with his debut Folk / pop album “Hand Built By Robots” and nearly four years since his last release “Hit The Ground Running”.
But he has a new album `Interference (Of Light)`, which he has worked on throughout lockdown from his recording studio in East London. It explores a number of styles and is way heavier and much less acoustic than previously.
We kick off with `Sinking Sand` a captivating number with a constant thumping beaten drum, high pitched vocal harmonies, guitar riffs and vocals that sound quite remote at times. There`s a laid back electronic beat to `Cage` with breathy vocals. A song that rolls along and really draws you in.
`Back From The Dead` is a more soulful track with vocals that are shared at a higher pitch at times with some delightful harmonies. I felt `Riding High` was a jazzier number with some delicious brass swathes and became quite anthemic.
`Four Leaf Clover` was quite a hypnotic composition, bluesy at times with some almost gospel like harmonies. There was a captivating edge to `Killing Time` with a repetitive electronic beat and drums that lead us through this quietly shared piece.
`Here Tonight` is lyrically very contemplative with just an acoustic guitar and the singer`s emotive vocals. A mesmerisingly mature submission. We enjoy some intricate guitar chords on `Better Way` a number that will have lighters and lit cell phones being held aloft when shared live.
`World Away` is ballad like offering that seems to build musically as it proceeds. There`s a shuffling beat on `I Can Pretend` which has a restrained quietly shared guitar solo on route.
` Leave Me Lonely` is a kind of soulful ballad where the singer really showcases what a rich vocal range he has. There was a similar vein to `Together` which had a slightly more bluesy texture. A charmingly upbeat track about reuniting with friends and loved ones.
I really enjoyed `The Sun Is Coming Up` it seemed a little different to a lot of the other tunes here and to me had a bit of a fascinating stop start feel. Again, `Rest Of Me` was another curious song that seemed to bounce along, sort of folky with a strummed instrument and lyrics that may well have you singing along to.
`Ache For You` is another mesmerising composition which was a real mix match of genres and styles, folk, a bit of drum and bass with a guitar solo thrown in for good measure. There`s a gentle build to `Its Getting Late` which did have that late evening / early morning sleepy ambiance. A wonderfully dreamy number.
The album closes out with `Interference (F@&k I Think it’s Love)` a love song of sorts with a tapped drum rim, sophisticated acoustic guitar chords, sweet harmonies, and the singer`s deeply rich vocals guiding us along.
`Interference (Of Light)` to me comes from an artist who seems to have matured and grown a little more at ease with own talent and in his obvious abilities. There was a pleasing variety of styles of music on this release and I got the impression that the singer has allowed himself to believe in his vocal dexterity and allow it a freer reign. I`m sure his faithful fanbase will enjoy this slight shift and really hope it will allow a wider audience to appreciate this gifted singer and musician.