The biggest challenge Chorley’s Luke Townsend was going to face when writing and recording From Winter was to bridge the gap from creating a small EP and a full-blown album which has to hold the attention for a lot longer.
By all accounts the mixture of full band tracks, vulnerable acoustic numbers and the occasional guest turn mean that For Winter is a triumph of folky, anecdotal nostalgia.
Townsend has described the album as having a “home-made feel” as he had to record it in his bedroom. By and large he hits the nail right on the head. At times the basic set up for recording becomes notable as vocals sound strained or occasionally hollow.
Whether by luck or logic however the home-made element fits in nicely with the themes of the album. Every song is dedicated to memories, thoughts or regrets. Vocally, Townsend does not have songs that soar, they feel more like camp fire songs, tales of days gone by that are passed along thoughtfully.
From tales of wandering and days in the park on “I know just how to get this started” to the excitement of making music on “Thursday Nights” to the yearning for home and comfort on “Long Walk Home” there is an inbuilt nostalgia which helps you build a picture of the character playing out before you.
The mix of acoustic and full band is a well balanced one. The mainstream rock riffs on “I know how just to get this started” are a world away from the mourning, sorrowful guest vocals of Emma Dooley on title track “From Winter.”
“My Mother named this song” and “And I Thought I was a Bad Person” from the previous EP also feature, the first a love song tinged with resentment and the second a full band rock n roller with a growling, shouty chorus.
“Let’s drink this place dry….Live these days like they’re our last” is the cheery, you only live once refrain to “The Comradery of Marshmallows.” A triumphant, chanty ending.
Townsend has generally managed the step up from pleasant EP trundler to having the ideas to fill a full album and he does so in a way which manages to combine remembrance of days gone by with a need to live the remaining ones to the full. Sound advice that is sounding good.
The album is available to download for FREE below.