I saw Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci many years ago supporting The Fall and, impatient for the pedagogic poetry of Mark E Smith, summarily dismissed them.
Having now had the pleasure of listening to founding guitarist John Lawrence’s new solo album, I realise that this was probably one of my more stupid life decisions.
‘Songs From The Precipice’ is a stunning showcase of Lawrence’s skill both as multi-instrumentalist and producer. Although only seven tracks long, it’s a dense work, which yields more with every listen, hidden melodies emerging as the layers of instrumentation unfold.
Lawrence draws from a wide palette of styles from jazz-funk, alt-country and new folk, but there’s no muso grandstanding – despite the sophistication of the production – this is a subtle, organic, human record.
There’s something of the campfire about these songs, Lawrence’s voice has a genuine warmth that recalls Nick Drake or Kevin Ayers and the mountainous Welsh landscape where he records is clearly an inspiration.
Lyrical, bucolic, redolent of the past and yet strikingly modern, this is a fine collection of songs.