Back again for another Sad Saturdays, and back with another little review, this time of bedroom lo-fi artist coull’s first solo release thankful. Part of the two-piece emo outfit Baby Names, who I have gushed about before, band member Aidan Coull is striking out with a solo effort that has piqued my interest in the genre of bedroom lo-fi, something I’ve never really explored before.
The extent of my experiments with lo-fi is probably early Mountain Goats, and that same tape hiss is present in the background throughout thankful, giving personal lyrics a warm backdrop. These lyrics are simple and open, with much of the guitar work similarly simple, rhythmic and melancholic. Both combine to create something hypnotic that almost feels like a confessional nursery rhyme. Some tracks are also reminiscent of very early Modern Baseball recordings, most noticeably on ‘To Give You Light’.
Compared to the complex guitarwork of Baby Names, Aidan’s work with coull is much simpler yet much greater than the sum of its parts. It is incredibly effective at creating a brooding yet hopeful tone, like light peeking through the blinds of a dark room. The melancholic, droning vocals are instrumental in this tone, creating a sombre mood through confessional lyrics. The variety on thankful, although only an 8 track record, is also to be admired. With a spoken word intro to ‘Room’, a delightful coda to ‘Leaving’ that fades out alongside bird sounds, and the introduction of flute and what I believe is accordion on ‘All of Us’, there is a desire to experiment and play around with the music, to try something a little new.
As a first foray into bedroom lofi, having been put off by what little I had heard before, I was very pleasantly surprised by Coull’s debut record and you can check out thankful below. If you only have a minute or two to spare, check out ‘Leaving’, my personal favourite from the release which is sure to make you continue listening.
Photo credit: Aidan Dean