Daydream believer!

What differs between this and other Folk/Solo albums is that it is a gentle and smooth musical trip, and whilst with traditional Folk you feel so earthy that you need a bath, with Iain’s music you enter a dream-like state whereby you feel chilled and at ease with the world. It’s a lie-out-in-the-sun record, and something you can relax to in the evening after a hard day at work with a glass of wine.

Currently residing in London, Iain is a Irish lad who is proud of his heritage, although this is by no means an Irish Folk album, indeed there are very few Irish elements to it, which helps you form your own little world that this sits in perfectly.

The first song is, ‘The Acrobat’ that creeps on to the stereo like a gentle breeze and is made up of acoustic guitar and a German Harmonium that hums in the background like a satisfied harem moaning with musical pleasure. Written and recorded in a single day it’s a fine example of what to expect for the rest of the album. Iain agrees that Van Morrison was an influence on the next song, ‘Songbird’, and of course this isn’t always a bad thing in a slightly more up-tempo acoustic song, that showcases Iain’s tuneful and melodic voice that has a real polished edge to it. ‘Black Mountain Quarry’ is based on the Black Mountains that Iain could see from his home in South Belfast, and the magical and mystic powers that he imagined them to hold. With a nice drum beat and interesting arrangement including an addictive deep-plunk guitar riff, it is a nice song.

‘Hey Mia, Don’t Be Lonely’ was written and recorded on a new guitar in a couple of hours, proving that it doesn’t take years to come up with decent songs (I’m looking at you, Mr Axl Rose). “Some guitars have songs within them that wait to get out,” suggests Iain. The acoustic strings are plucked with a gentle love that rolls around in the background as the vocals glide over them like a blanket. Now there is the interesting song slap bang in the middle of the album that boasts just over 8 minutes, ‘Everest’ is the name, and it is an epic song that builds up slowly and bursts to life eventually becoming a nice sing-a-long.

‘Frozen Lake’ is a haunting song that plays out with pangs of emotion about the beauty of nature and the winter wonderland that Mother-Nature gives to us each year. This leads us to the jolly and happy song of, ‘Streamer On A Kite’ that is as much about spring as the previous song was of winter. The poetic explanations of colours majestically dancing is delightful and over the acoustic guitar melodies make this a pleasant song indeed. ‘To Mend And Move Along’ expresses in a simple and yet affective way the dismay of a broken object, that whilst is still cherished, can never quite hold the same magic as it once had, however you just cannot bare to part with it all the same. The final song is, ‘The Nightwatchman’ and this is deliberate as it is in direct contrast to the character in the first song, ‘The Acrobat’. One is a showman and the other stays in the shadows. The final song beautifully wraps things up nicely.

It’s a cliché to suggest that it’s hard to categorise an artist but here with Iain Archer, we have a guy whose songs are too smooth and polished to be Folk, and yet too gentle, thoughtful and simplistic to be Pop, or Rock; Iain is but somewhere in between where fads and fashions are seen as follies, and musical poetry is the water that the people are thirsty for. This is a beautiful album, which is not a way that I describe many albums (if any!). It has the ability to be enjoyed by friends together or for personal pleasure, and if it is the latter that you choose there is the fantastic capability of listening and never feeling alone. This is good stuff, folks!