Now onto his fifth album, Manchurian, Aidan Smith, clearly hasn’t run dry of his trademark creativity.
On paper, the structure of his songs just shouldn’t work; teaming endearingly poetic lyrics, soft vocals and a sort of sporadic collision of brass instruments, but somehow it just does.
Allotments is a rather gentle creation that has a very traditional overtone – with upbeat melodies on “Morning Was Your Picnic” creating a sound that is not wholly dissimilar to The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club work.
Yet, tracks like “Drapes of Black” maintain this jovial nature, but in the same way that Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion confuses his delighted listeners with a paradoxical sound of dark lyrics and cheerful tunes, Smith incorporates murkier lines like “The birds murder each other for food, I squawk and spark like a Narcissist each time that I am pissed.”
Smith then turns again with the beautiful instrumental ‘Sore thumbs, sore fingers’ which creates an aspect of the addictive thought-provoking atmosphere conjured by niche bands like Mogwai.
Fourteen track, Allotments, is a mature innovation that will draw in fans of Turin Brakes, Cherry Ghost and Athlete but as a result of Smith’s inspired creativity; a whole variety of audiences.
On a first listen, the album may not tick all the boxes for a lot of music fans – largely because of the unusual and acquired sound, but after a few repeats on your iTunes, it becomes difficult not to at least recognise the imaginative talent of Aidan Smith.