Record Reviews

Two Years In April

Two Years In April might refer to two things. Firstly, the time it will have taken Tamas Wells to record this, his third album of gentle, unassuming folk tunes. Twenty-four months or 10 tracks of sweetly picked melodies, heady singing and the occasional banjo. It’s a settled, gradual work, sometimes so modest it threatens to drop off the speakers. You’re not expecting anything, you find a quietly pleasant record.

Think again, though, and it might recall a fated two-year seafaring journey of a young couple. Look to the lengthy, somewhat incongruously gushing and momentous song titles (and subtitles!) that signpost vessels boarded and places visited. Or the almost coastal feel to his instrumental work, like banjos on the sand and ships to shore. Still friendly and fragile, but.

Towards its close, Two Years In April reveals the purpose and weight that was hitherto just a tiny shaft of light. Penultimate ?Signs I Can’t Read? evokes the grief of nostalgia, as words literally disappear from his singing like it’s too much and gradually sawing (not soaring) viola overcomes the taut and melancholic guitar. It’s like a undeniable stir beneath and its cause to reconsider everything that came before. Sure, all covered up again for ?Grace And Seraphim?, like never happened (the suffocation of a wake) – but you know that it did and that’s something strong to take away.