Jim Lockey and the Solumn Sun have been named on BBC Gloucestershire as 2010’s number 1 local band. Which, if you ask me, is entirely justified. It is also a good reason for me to review their most recent album, Atlases…
Released last year on the Cheltenham-based independent record label I Started The Fire (which I believe was founded by Jim Lockey and friends), Atlases is modern English folk with a twist of punk-rock attitude.
The title track sets the tone of the album with interesting lyrics and vocal harmonies constantly driven onwards by the rhythm of drums and guitars. Arragon Pt II is catchy and upbeat, while Mothers and Fathers reflects on the importance of family and sounds deeply personal.
Morning Wake Up is an album highlight for me – more gentle than the other tracks, it is a love song that simply and honestly captures emotion without going soppily over the top.
The second half of the album introduces a more political theme with Machines (another highlight) and Caskets and Bibles, then ends on a high with Vessels an epic voyage of a song that builds up, drops and then builds again to a crescendo of empassioned vocals and strings before fading back to end with a’capella harmonies.
My one critism is that although the songs work very well as part of the whole, a little more variation in tone could perhaps have lifted the albumto the next level. Overall though, Atlases is a very enjoyable listen and a strong piece of work – definintely worth checking out if you enjoy the likes of Mumford and Sons or Frank Turner.