Tumbler band members Richard Grace, Dave Needham, and Harry Grace have put together a 12-track album titled You Said that was released earlier this month. It is a collection of beautiful, fun, and melodic music well worth the listen.
The thumping drum beat of “Moments (She Reappears)” opens the album, joined first by an acoustic guitar and then by vocals. The track slowly builds with more percussion, more guitars, and backing vocals. It’s a catchy, upbeat, foot-tapping song that is hard to define – it is folksy at times, alternative rock-imbibed elsewhere, with a light touch of electronic. The guitars are a lot of fun to focus one’s ears on, especially during the solo near the end.
While just as upbeat as its predecessor, “Don’t Think Twice (She Says)” is much less folksy and much more alternative rock with nary a hint of electronic. The vocals are led by a different singer than “Moments (She Reappears)”, which comes as a nice surprise. Hand claps give it a cheerful quality which the bouncy melody is building. Once again, the guitars are quite a pleasure to listen to. It’s simply built—vocals, drums, guitars, and backing vocals—that seems to hint towards an era of simpler music.
The mid-tempo “London Girl” is an adorable number both because of the tenderness of the lyrics and the ukulele-led melody. The vocals are back to the original singer, a great choice that well matches the topic and melody. “Businessman Blues” breaks all expectations that might have started coalescing by now. The guitar-led blues-imbibed track is crunchy, snarly, gritty, and almost dirty. It’s a lot of joy to listen to and gives the impression that it was just as so to record.
A song with the title “Sleepy Bananas Are Cool” makes one think of a Dr. Seuss book; the analogy isn’t that far off, as the lullaby-like soft melody is strangely relaxing like story-time is supposed to be. “Dennis and Jean” is just as sweet but in a completely different way. It’s mid-tempo to its predecessor’s slow one and is led by a cheery piano melody underlining the story of a couple. It would make for a great and touching video clip, what with all the snippets of a beautiful marriage from its beginning to the end.
The album takes another detour with “Bueller” which comes off as a pop-rock song, returns into alternative rock territory with title track “Break or Fall” before heading straight back into folk territory with the male/female duet “Call Me Sentimental”. The funeral march plucked on the ukulele opens “Dead Man’s Bones”, so you probably won’t be surprised that I chuckled a few times during this upbeat country and folk number.
“Flowers and Miracles” is yet another cheerful, ukulele-led folk contribution that makes good use of a harmonica. Closing ballad “Rowan Tree” is slow, sweet, and almost magical lullaby-worthy that sets the entire thing to bed.
You Said is a mix of songs that are more or less imbibed with folk rock elements and flavours. The stories told in some of them are the highlight of this album. More information is available on the band’s official website; tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.
First published on Blogcritics.