By David's Lyre
Having tantalised fans with the 'In Arms' EP, the latest effort from David's Lyre, 'Picture Of Our Youth' is a confident and beautiful debut. Not completely departing from the definitive sounds of the first EP but no less affecting; it's a bittersweet record. Like the sinking feeling when you come to your last present on Christmas Day. 'Picture Of Our Youth' is a creation of such beauty that you desperately yearn for more. But even though this is the last material from David's Lyre, thankfully from the man behind the guise; Paul Dixon it's not.
There are some debuts that hurl musicians head first in to the bargain bins in That's Entertainment and some that float along the edges of mediocrity. 'Picture Of Our Youth' slots itself comfortably in a superior place. Every once in a while you stumble across a record that is so exciting and above all refreshing that you become blinded by its sheer excellence in which everything else seems so dull in comparison. This is that album. There's nothing complex here, but that's the thing; it doesn't have to be. 'Picture Of Our Youth' surges with simple structures, clattering percussion punctuated with basic beats and lucid vocals.
Standout track, 'The Fall' soars off into a tumult of strings whilst 'Piano Song' with the accompaniment of a sparse piano create stunning moments on the LP. On 'Heartbeat' a Ukele greets you in to a hooky chorus where another highlight can be found in 'Only Words', with a simple drum beat entwined in a heartbreaking, jazz infused vocal. "Holding back the tears, we were holding back the tears; we were holding back the tears for we know this life draws near, from the city we were swept to different shores." Although tinged with emotion the instrumentals create something quite euphoric and it's the addition of strings permeated throughout 'Picture Of Our Youth' that adds that extra element to such an endearing debut.
It's a consistently great album, and begs the question of how can such an artist bubble under the radar when the same predictable indie outfits are regurgitated by the likes of NME, for them to be dubbed as the sound of the year, when really they're just a hipster crooning about how their girlfriend doesn't love them anymore. It's indicative of the sorry state of the Music Industry. Whilst criminally overlooked in this project, I'm certain that Paul Dixon's future ventures will be just as engaging.