Co-pilgrim ‘A Fairer Sea’
On the surface Co-pilgrim’s album, ‘A Fairer Sea’ ticks all the boxes to qualify as a damn fine guitar-pop record. It has catchy hooks, glorious harmonies and a host of memorable tunes. Straight out the blocks comes ’22′ an insanely catchy song that will have you singing along in no time. ‘Come On Come On’ does a similar job, driven along by chiming guitars and layers of lush vocals, it comes across like an early Byrds foot stomper. Although a little slower, the chorus of ‘I’m Going To The Country’ sums up one of the key things we love about this record. It is a simple refrain but the layers of rhythm section, keys and gentle strumming, combined with the beautiful vocals envelop you and whisk you away to the countryside, porch and river that are being sung about.
So far this all seems very idyllic but, if scratched, every surface reveals something underneath. In the case of ‘A Fairer Sea’ this seems to be a great deal of love, loss and heartache. Lead man, Mike Gale, has a beautiful voice but also a willingness to share with his listeners a lyrical poetry that, when combined with his lilting vocal and the angelic harmonies of his bandmates, cannot fail to break your heart a little. From the off we are aware of a, ‘You shaped hole in my heart’ but for us this strain of melancholy hits home most powerfully in the beautifully haunting, ‘Roslindale’ where, ‘nothing more than memories are riding with me now’. This is truly stirring songwriting.
Co-pilgrim have managed to pull off this delicate balancing act with great dexterity. You love the ups and live through the downs, but you stay for the complete ride. ‘A Fairer Sea’ packs a punch both musically and emotionally – for those very reasons it is a record to be cherished.
(we wrote this review a month or so ago for our friends at Fatea, however we love this record so much we wanted to make sure it reached as many people as possible!)