STRAWBERRY GUY should have an absolutely assured future ahead of him once his debut album, Sun Outside My Window, drops into the racks and arrives on doorsteps later today and the musical cognoscenti wrap their heads around it; it’s goood, I mean so gooood, in an early Lennon/Bill Fay way and yep, I’m on dying on that hill. This is gold struck while panning.
In celebration of the release of his debut album, the Liverpool-via-Cardiff auteur has released one final single that’ll get you in the autumnal feels with ease and beauty, “I’ll Be There” – come gather round, it’s a stunner – reflective, luxurious, considered; yet you sense, absolutely stemming from the soul and also entirely effortless – this is the Strawberry Guy worldview rendered sound, and what a world. Music to kick through leaves to.
And it’s that aesthetic that informs this classic, classy tunesmithery. “It’s about seeing the simple things in life and them making you happy,” says Alex Stephens, the guy behind the Strawberry.
“I remember this day when I was really down … looking out the window, the sun beaming in was beautiful, it made me want to go outside – it was simple but made me so happy in that instance.”
Filling a vacant position in the grand pantheon of baroque pop last held by Liam Hayes’ Plush (and if you fall hard for Strawberry Guy, you really should track back and pick up Plush’s More You Becomes You and Fed), the Welsh songwriter – can we start bandying about terms like auteur here? I think we can – harks back even further than Lennon, Fay, Wilson and the like and on into the 19th century.
“I was really inspired by ‘Venus, The Bringer of Peace’ by Gustav Holst, especially when it gets to the middle section or after the second chorus, I wanted to create this feeling of being swept up off your feet through music here.
”There’s no drums keeping the time in the track, just cymbal crashes. I wanted to create a sense of rhythmic freedom. Just like the way an orchestra plays with sparse or little percussion.”
You’ve a couple of chances to catch him live in the next few weeks, which would be rather excellent, and both dates are at legendary and intimate venues: on Saturday, November 6th, he’s at Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe, while on Saturday the 27th he’s at The Lexington, Islington.
Strawberry Guy’s Sun Outside My Window is released by Melodic Records today, October 29th, digitally, on limited edition CD and limited pale blue vinyl – get your copy of this brilliant record at Melodic’s Bandcamp page or from any good record store.