W Finch: Asthill Grove

~ Sunday, 24 January 2010
Coventry based songwriter Wes Finch has produced a small masterpiece with this record. It is fair to say that he has been helped in no small way by the 14 other musicians that have contributed their talents to it and especially the production skills of Paul Hartry. This record has warmth flowing through it.

Finch has a voice that is hard to place. There is a twang to his vocals, kind of like The Kooks Luke Pritchard doing a Ryan Adams impersonation, but unmistakably English. The voice suits perfectly the folk/pop that is Finch's stock and trade. Opening with the short and teasing Wooden Hill, we get a glimpse of delights to come. Air, Land & Sea is one of the most beautiful songs that I have heard in many a year. It builds and falls with faultless grace and had me reaching for the repeat button more than once.
Both Aint We The Lucky Ones? and Jack To Do arrive like long lost friends, open armed, smiling and comfortingly familiar. I say familiar as many of the tracks on here have the feeling that you have heard them before. It's not because they sound particularly like anyone else, but rather because they are instantly likable. This is an album that works from the first play. A special mention has to be given to The New Waltz where an anthemic version of Mickey Newbury's An American Trilogy is incorporated into the chorus. An unexpected surprise that works a treat.

This is a well crafted album from an obviously talented artist who deserves to be heard. Move over Ryan Adams & co, there's a new kid in town.


[][][][][] (5/5)