Artist: The Fisherman And His Soul
Album: Nothing Ever Stays The Same
Label: Subjangle (CD) Shiny Happy Records (cassette)
The Fisherman And His Soul (super name which is taken from an Oscar Wilde short story) is the solo project of German multi-instrumentalist Sebastian Voss, who normally struts his stuff with Estella Rosa in their duo Nah… On this solo venture, Voss has managed to rope in a number of artists to collaborate and contribute (including Rosa) to what is an especially well-rounded album that offers much to the ear.
The ten tracks on offer mix a myriad of influences from punk to indie with a splash of psychedelia and dance. Voss explains that the album concept was developed during a period when certain relationships struggled and changes became cemented. As a result, the songs reflect on the inevitability of change and rather than avoid them, they should be embraced for what they are.
Opening track Crumble is an absolute killer, fluorescent guitar sounds light up the track perfectly, offsetting the spoken word, monotone vocal in the background. That vocal is provided by Fiona Sangster who used to play keyboards in the post-punk outfit Xmal Deutschland. Sangster also provides a similar spoken word vocal on The Dean which to an extent is reminiscent of the Velvet Underground’s track The Gift but with an added 90s baggy pop vibe. Additional sung vocals on the song comes from Chris Free.
Dimmish Grey Sky highlights a heavier sound, meaty in its delivery, swirling and sounding like a magic carpet ride tripping through the clouds, a real delight. Fine Thanks and Goodbye are of a similar vein, mining that psychedelic, 60s feel to good effect.
Straight up, no frills indie track Mean But Less Permanent is performed with a smile on the face and on Perfect Bathrooms we see Voss rooting about in Europop territory, an earworm of a track that demands some dance moves!
It’s difficult to choose a favourite track on the album but if pushed I’d plump for Reckenfeld with its jangly upbeat riff complemented by vocals (Estella Rosa and Paul Darrah) which positively shine through the music.
Squeeze in Dalliance, a cover of The Wedding Present track from their 1991 album Seamonsters and the exquisite Harenberg which sprays celestial electrolytes on a heavenly laid back journey to another dimension and you have one of the albums of the year, it’s that good.
The album Nothing Ever Stays The Same by The Fisherman And His Soul is out now. Visit the Bandcamp page here for more information.