This fine new album from Dave Fidler — he plays the guitar — highlights the difference between professional musicians and the more amateur.
Fidler, who has toured with John Bramwell from I Am Kloot, wrote and recorded this album while touring the festival circuit with his family in his caravan, Aurora — hence the album title.
Amazingly, he decided to write a song a day last August because he had writer’s block.
Despite the timescale and the back-of-the-van recordings, and the alleged writer’s block, the songs are all good and to a high standard. Fidler plays and sings well, and the album has been mastered professionally. It sounds great.
On his equally excellent blog, he lists all the songs, says something about them and gives the lyrics. So opening song On the Line was written on 7th August and took 45 minutes to write. He had been surfing the day before so there’s watery bent to the lyrics: “Down goes your body / I’ll hold you steady this time … Then you wake up, to find your old life has gone / Across the water, your new one had begun”, the story being that of a friend he met the night before. A pleasant and emotive minor key song.
Second song is Eternal Road, written in C and taking all of two and a half hours on 10th August. It’s about his mum holding everything together after his dad died, written just after her last child, the youngest sister, got married, “like she’s completed her job”. Lyric: “But your hands were made for working and that’s just what you did / Head down raised such a strong woman from / A scared little kid.” It’s a more traditional acoustic tune than the opener, but still has a light touch despite the topic.
Heart of Stone is next, which we couldn’t see on the blog. A shame, as it’s one of the better songs, acoustic and electric guitar, with some keyboard too, and, like much of the album, a nice sunny 60s feel to it.
Skylark, on the other hand, was written on 25th August, and is about moving on: “Things been looking up it’s got me singing / The skylark only calls when it’s climbing.”
Well, we could go on but you could stream or buy this and go to davefidler.com/blog and see for yourself.
He’s got a sound all of his own. The only person he brought to mind was Iain Archer, whose solo acoustic work has a similar feel; Archer was in Snow Patrol for a while and wrote or co-wrote some of their better songs. Anyone who likes gentle acoustic pop will like this; there’s nothing not to like. Good tunes, nice voice, decent lyrics.
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