Thursday, October 20, 2011

REVIEW// Sovroncourt: Trunk Ship Perth

     Sovroncourt is a one-man outfit hailing from Ohio, aided here and there by a group of friends. Cameron Sharp, as he is more commonly know by, dropped this latest eight track effort over in my inbox a couple of days ago, and I've been enjoying it for a good chunk of that time! Sharp recognises that his voice is either one you're going to initially love or one you're gonna hate, and that really is a barrier you have to cross. I'll admit that on my first listen, I wasn't too fond of his rather unique style of singing, but with another listen, you realise that all the blotches and tiny tonal imperfections lend themselves to create a persona around the music and a certain honesty that you can relate to so, so easily. Nobody is perfect, and people deafened by the mainstream attempts at such will find it a lot harder to get into Sovroncourt's 'Trunk Ship Perth', an album brimming with humble words and wrapped in a blanket of lo-fi folk fuzziness. It's available to download for any price over at the Bandcamp, and I eagerly suggest giving it a whirl, because it is worth it.
     'Requiem' introduces the album will some thought-provoking lyricism, sang over a mixture of horns, percussion and guitar that compliment each other perfectly. A tale of ambition, of being rejected, and of trying again, the opening lines: "I met a man and he sat on top / I sat low but I looked up / as I wanted to sit with him", are rather endearing. One of my favourite bits of the song however, goes "If you're singing in your basement no one's gonna hear a single word you sing". One of the albums side-notes states that the eight songs were recorded in Sharp's basement, and when you read that the lyrics really come into their own. If I'm honest, I doubt many people will have heard of Sovroncourt, and it seems that they recognise this. They realise that they're a small group, and they muse on the notion of not being noticed, which is both human and charming and saddening all at the same time. If you take the time to study the words of every single one of these tracks, you'll find some truly beautiful song-writing. 'Butch Cassidy' is the next number up, a melancholy melody and folk guitars detailed by an interesting tambourine, or an instrument of that sort. 'Roger' speeds things up a little, with some heart-warming harmonies switching from quiet to loud and building all the way from one to the other. The slower, prolonged notes in the second half highlight the love/hate element of the singing, but somehow, it just works. 'Miss Ohio' sounds subtly different, as most of that background, lo-fi noise seems to have been erased, and I adore it. "The apocalypse exists / at least a version of it" sings Sharp, sighing, in a wonderful state of peace that you long to experience. The next few minutes, 'Acrowdedroom', are filled with delicate melodies and belting choruses, with 'Over Idaho', following with a didgeridoo? One of the shorter numbers, Sharp's voice seems a little monotonous in relation to the rest of the album, but the instrumentation makes up for all that. Honestly? I think every song's great.
     'I Will Be Singing' carries a more rebellious tone, with lines such as "You can stick feathers in my rear / but that don't mean I'm a chicken" never failing to lift my mood and coax forth a smile. 'All Those Things' closes the record on a thoughtful note. "I wobbled over to the cliff overlooking eternity" goes a particularly striking sentence, and as the the album ends, you feel suitably enlightened, as thought a certain thin mist has lifted, but it was so subtle when it was there that you hardly noticed. There are two bonus tracks that you can stream over at the Bandcamp for yourselves, while I grab myself a copy. But trust me. If you listen to this while doing something else, you won't truly get a sense of it's beauty. Like looking at the Mona Lisa with sunglasses on, you really do need to give this your full attention to get the most out of it. If you do, you'll be rewarded with some beautiful lyricism and experimental folk vibes that lift the soul. It is an excellent set of tracks, and I only wish I could congratulate Sharp and his pals in person. Seriously, thanks guys, for both recording and sending over 'Trunk Ship Perth'.   *Stream 'Requiem' below.*