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Ian Felice: In The Kingdom Of Dreams

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This reached us before Christmas but “bloody good” seemed too brief a review. We can’t improve on it, though.

The Felice Brothers are an American folk rock/country rock band, who seem to be bigger over there than here. The brothers bit is partly true: Ian and James are in the band and Simone was but is no longer. Three other band members are not the children of Mrs Felice. All three brothers are involved in this album.

It is Ian’s first solo album, and produced by Simone, who also plays drums. James is on keys. It’s a sparse album, often just piano, guitar or banjo, fingerpicked as much as strummed.

Felice’s voice varies between Bob Dylan and Willie Mason, as well as having a more generic sound of his own.

The lyrics cover everything from death to aliens landing on election day.

Overall, it’s a maudlin sound but of the kind that’s a joy to listen to. It’s one of those albums that will stay with you for life if it hits at the right time and in the right spot.

As well as Dylan and Mason, the overall feel reminded us of Fisherman’s Woman by Emiliana Torrini, less for the sound than its simplicity, the atmosphere it creates and the lack of any obvious production. Musical valium (in a good way).

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