MF Tomlinson – We Are Still Wild Horses (PRAH Recordings)

MF Tomlinson – We Are Still Wild Horses (PRAH Recordings)

Like quite a lot of other contributors to God Is In The TV (I imagine), my long-suffering spouse has to put up with a *LOT* of music. So, I know when she asks ‘Wow! What’s that?‘ that it’s something really special.

This being the second album from MF Tomlinson. Hailing from Meanjin (Brisbane) and now based in East London, he has followed up his pretty damn good 2021 debut album Strange Time with a record that is little short of phenomenal. A four track album that seems to arrive seemingly out of nowhere that pulls together so many different strands of different musical genres and then produces something that is musical alchemy. If that sounds like hyperbole…I challenge you to listen to the album and prove me wrong.

There’s no shortage of singer-songwriters who could be described as storytellers (just pop into any half-decent record shop), but what’s so impressive with Mr. Tomlinson is how he can take a tale of everyday drudgery like ‘Winter Time Blues‘ and make it so vital. You can sense the loss of hope lyrically, but the music takes this to some whole place else. Not in a ‘woe is me’ sense but a song that manages to draw on your classic folky singer songwriters (think Richard Thompson or Leonard Cohen) delve into acid folk, throw in some brass and a guitar freakout. Without ever descending into self-indulgence. Now that’s class.

Much of what’s intriguing is how this seems to work so differently from so many albums I’ve heard over many years of listening to music (no, really). The idea of the album that you have to listen to many times to get into is quite common (assuming you’re prepared to invest the time required, of course). We Are Still Wild Horses grabs you from the first listen – it is an astonishingly easy album to love – yet successive listens will still leave you surprised by how much is going on here and working together.

As to which is the best track here, it seems to almost depend on which track you’re listening to at the time. ‘The End Of The Road‘ is a fantastic song, dealing with the theme of isolation, that is classic in its structure…until the last minute or so when it falls apart in a way that touches on the avant garde as it falls apart like a decaying tape. It might be the best thing here.

…Yet, there’s also the matter of the title track, the fourth and final song on this album which takes up the second side of the vinyl (trust me, you’ll want this on vinyl for the artwork as well). It manages to mix ambient and jazz to produce a pastoral sound that is incredible.

Please do yourself a favour and actually buy this album, and then listen to it a lot. Don’t let this be a well-kept secret, it deserves a huge audience.

Over to you, listeners. My wife and and I are enjoying it once again…

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