Friday, 25 September 2020

Blake - HMS Blake

Released: 25 Sept 2020
Label: Subjangle
Listen and Buy Here

Blake is the work of Julian Pugsley, a songwriter based in Wiltshire, UK. This release comprises of his latest album 1971 (from earlier this year) and a special bonus 'best of' disc of his earlier work.

It is an extensive collection of some of the best 'lost' guitar pop songs you will ever hear. His sound is reminiscent of 90s jangle - Belle and Sebastian and Gorkys Zygotic Mynci. 

1971 has some lovely songs. Highlights include the heartfelt 'Peter Green', which pays homage to the legendary Fleetwood Mac guitarist who passed away in July. The song has more of a Folk sound and has so much charm.

My favourite on the album is the superbly catchy 'Whenever', which actually sounds like a lost radio hit. 'Denied' is a moving and highly melodic ballad. 'Daisy Chain' is a simple acoustic gem, short and very sweet. There are also 6 new bonus tracks, the best of these being 'Pepper man', about Paul McCartney. It has vibes of Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Men.

Highlights of the 'best of' disc include 'Vinyl Junkie', which is about loving music and collecting obsessively, something a lot of music fans could relate to. My personal favourite here is 'Anyhow' which is catchy guitar pop of the highest standard. 'Now You're Gone' is also wonderfully melodic and demonstrates superb songwriting. It is instantly memorable like many of the songs here.

'She Flew Away' has 60s Psych vibes with more of a raw edge. It is a lot of fun and one I listened to repeatedly. 'We'll Be Champions' is an emotional song about the four Palestinian boys killed in Gaza (2014) whilst playing football. It is a beautiful yet sad listen. It ends on 'Star Over Bethlehem', a Christmas carol with some lovely harmonies. 

A superb collection of songs from a great 'lost' songwriter. Highly recommended.

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