Paul Den Heyer is something of a supporting cast character in the North-West’s music history, formerly a member of short-lived indie rockers Fishmonkeyman and then of The Red Sided Garter Snakes alongside ex-members of Puressence and Inspiral Carpets. He’s now creating hazy guitar sketches in his own right - Everything So Far is his debut solo release.
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I'm probably the only person in the world to remember Fishmonkeyman and their one indie hit If I Told You Once. A classic! I tells you. Well many moons ago Paul Den Heyer was their guitarist but now he's making slow moving and considered 'Briticana' (his word) under his own name. This is the first I've heard of his music and I'm enjoying it very much.
Opener Technicolour Summer Sunshine has the same kind of laid back drawl of early Mojave 3 or Mazzy Star - a pastoral drift of a track that takes things slowly and loses itself in its own acoustic fog. By the time Clear Sunlight View rolls around I'm starting to convince myself that A Turntable Friend have a real find here. It's like the most laid back parts of Shack and in particular Michael Head and the Strands. Again, three chords and a foggy vocal drawl are enough and it's this simplicity that is making these tracks stand out from the batches of more complex music I've heard today.
The album has a delicious feel to it, as if it has been recorded in the sort of studio where the 60s dust is lit up by the hazy afternoon sun. His songwriting takes in bits of 70s British folk, Americana and Brit pop but manages to combine it effortlessly into drawn out tracks that drift into each other and create a stoned mood that is possibly only broken by the Beatles-isms of Money Cloud (well, he is from Liverpool). It paves the way for a more upbeat B side with chiming 12 string pop (Passing of the Season) the Coral like lollops (Home Song).
Overall the album is a kind of continuation of the sound Michael Head found with his The Magical World of the Strands album. A sun drenched scouse odyssey that is well worth a listen.
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