I Said To Love is the 16th solo album from Martyn Bates. Bates is also known for his work in experimental duo Eyeless In Gaza. The album is a pleasing clash of introspective singer/songwriter style songs and more noisy, complex songs sung by Martyn Bates and Elizabeth S. CD on Ambivalent Scale Recordings.
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Eyeless in Gaza seemed to pass me by completely though people tell me I'm missing out. So therefore I've missed Martyn Bates 16 solo albums as well. Whilst EIG had a more collage feel to their experiments, Bates has a very English style of songwriting with a folky edge that recalls Martin Newell and Robyn Hitchcock. 'Again For Awhile' is a good barometer of what he does with it's aggressively strummed guitars and folk influenced melodies though it's a lot heavier than the other material here.
The record is an intimate recording of Bates at work. His acoustic guitar sits back in the mix with his voice right upfront and the tangled melodies are joined by all kinds of sonic detritus which gives these songs a really eerie feel. The title track here is a lovely piece and it's the aforementioned production touches that give this it's beauty. I'm not sure if he's going to like me for this but it's naked confessional tone and keening vocal reminds me of some of George Michael's bleaker tracks circa 'Older'.....no bad thing though the raw production sets it way apart.
Another forgotten voice in British music, Bates has a quite unique tone which will appeal to fans of confessional songwriters who still have the fading voices of the '60's in their soul.
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- I Said to Love by Martyn Bates
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