There are few such self-assured, effortless, yet restrained and charming songwriting personalities as young Jeremy Warmsley. His music, specifically his previous album The Art of Fiction, politely demanded your attention, and if you wandered off in the middle of it, well that was okay by him. Nothing much has changed. He still sounds slightly vulnerable and liable to retreat into his cardigan at any point. This time though, he’s decided you should be listening. In fact, he’s gonna get a little pissed if you so much as turn down the volume.
Starting with 'Sins (I Try)', his voice stalks stridently across his simple, piano embellished arrangement. It’s here that you realise that Jeremy may well have the vocal panache to enchant and enrapture. Of course, to taint him with just having a remarkable, understated voice would be to do the man (and this album) an injustice. His songs bloom from cheeky little melodies like on '12 Broken Swords' or crescendo with distorted guitar thrashes, as on 'Lose My Cool'. Though most would see a shallow scope across the twelve songs on offer, each one is a grand gesture, a sweeping statement of intent.
The subtle vocal hook on 'Waiting Room' is broadened with the deep brass humming underneath, while gently strummed harps and violins glide beneath the backdrop, hinting at the expanse Mister Warmsley wants to provide. When he sings that he’s keeping "the city burning" for someone, you believe him, because his voice winds around the piano as if a symbiotic partnership was not only possible, but irresistible.
There’s no doubt that this will still not appeal to those who, perhaps, need it most. It will be dismissed as feeble, and perhaps even tedious. It’s a shame we’re still in a position with music where immediacy is demanded, and peeling layers just ends up in tears. Instead, these three-minute laments and celebrations should be savoured. It’s a lot to ask of a listener to 'just give it one more listen', it’s true. Who has the time to do that? It’s not even that the harmonious twists don’t work their magic instantly, it’s just that they are far more rewarding after more time with them.
It’s the promise of something more that will compel the patient amongst us persevere. So by the time the shuffling soul of 'Waiting Room' begins to shimmy across its unassuming ballroom, your senses are prepared to accept Jeremy’s sensitive vision. Despite first impressions, this is quite the opposite of laid-back, lazy music – there’s soul and energy flowing through the entire album. It just needs a willing vessel to channel through.
7Brad Barrett's Score