Album Review: Nick B Byrne – 4:15AM

17 Sep

Words by Rahsian Parris

4:15AM is the first full length offering from Welsh singer/songwriter Nick B Byrne, but if you are expecting a compilation of soppy, mediocre pop songs, signature to most unsigned singer/songwriters, think again. On virgin ears, the album, as a whole, sounds like a well produced bag of Feeder B-Sides, but be compelled to spin it once then give it a second try.

The title track chugs into action with a moody bass line that chomps through your speakers, coupled with Muse-esque vocal effects that make you sit up and listen; but it’s the ‘chorus’ that keeps you coming back for more. Luscious harmonies and dreamy guitars groom you into a false sense of security before the monster bass stomps back in for another verse. It is just sonic bliss of epic proportions.

The next two tracks, including debut single ‘Anna’ are a good mix of solid acoustic pop/rock with little musical phrases that have you immediately hooked, “Hey you, what do you live for?” But it’s Nick’s vocals that have the ‘rewind’ factor; his voice has the kind of delicious tones that give you goose bumps and make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end and it is in the next few tracks, that the beauty of the record flourishes into full bloom. A, not necessarily intricate, but exceptionally produced mix of crunchy guitar riffs, spellbinding harmonies and flecks of electronics that are generally, extremely colourful; Nick’s music does for acoustic pop/rock, what High Definition has done for television, highlighted the elements that we love most and reproduced them with stunning attention to detail and with an elegance and clarity that moves you.

Songs like ‘Turning’, ‘The Haunting’ and ‘Mother’ have massive chart appeal, not just because they immediately stand out on the album, but ‘Turning’ in particular has the most staggeringly epic climax that concludes the song. You can hear straight away that, with a full band, it would be a runaway classic, however, perhaps it is it’s modest arrangement that makes it so powerfully dynamic and captivating.

4:15AM sits firmly as one of my favourite indie albums of the year, because it is simple song writing, masterfully crafted and produced to give every single sound a place on the album; from sporadic percussion to unconventional synths sounds lead by bright folk guitars. Not one track sounds out of place and as a package, 4:15AM is gold, however, the need to hear some of the tracks go a little bit further, musically, than they have, has not faded. However, the album does what it says on the tin, encapsulates the darkness of the post dawn atmosphere and gradually transforms into something distinctly bright.

‘4:15AM’ is released on September 27th

Rahsian Parris for Music-News.com For more reviews, interviews and news check it out here

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