Andy Falkous seems to be immune to the law of diminishing returns. Nuance -The Musical is the fifth of his christian fitness outpourings. Interleaved with Future of the Left albums, that’s a lot of music in the last few years. Practice seems to be making perfect though -both of his guises have been going from strength to strength.
There’s an immediacy and energy inherent in being able to release music quickly and directly via the likes of Bandcamp. With the christian fitness records in particular Falkous seems to have managed to instil those virtues into the music itself. Like a collection of short stories, in contrast to the novel that is a different kind of album. Nuance – The Musical captures the sense of experimentation and possibility without feeling disposable or rushed. Pushing boundaries like a home-grown Shellac or Mike Patton there’s some terrific pieces of carefully constructed music, branching out even further than before into fragments of minimalist sound and jazz (and yet, to borrow a Falkous phrase, in a good way…) There’s a lot crammed into its half hour that demands repeated listening from all manner of synthesised strings to the rather astounding ‘the mood when the ship started to sink…’ starting with roiling timpaniesque percussion backdrop welded to twisted, rending metal sounds it wanders off in all sorts of directions. Like much of the record it has a slightly abstractly satirical lyric which adds to the immediacy. (Only on ‘full morrissey’ does anything get a properly full broadside, but the “expat scum” deserves it, curiously to a tune that sounds like a Jane’s Addiction reworking…).
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a side project to be caught up with later. It’s a great record that needs hearing now while its fresh and before Falkous moves on again.
Get it on Bandcamp