On being reviewed

I haven't posted here for a while. I have, however, been adding more of album reviews as they've come in. As a longtime fan of many of the places we've been reviewed in - R2 magazine, No Depression, AmericanaUK and FATEA - it has been a real pleasure to see our music reviewed there, and especially to have had such consistently positive responses to the album. Thanks to all the reviewers for their time. It's also been great to get some radioplay, and I have to acknowledge John Godfrey for playing us four times now on The Troubadour Show. It always makes my day when I discover we are getting a spin.

There are many nice things about being reviewed. It is interesting, of course, to hear how other people interpret your music and lyrics. Many of the reviews comment on the melancholy or bittersweet nature of the songs. This is not news to me, of course, but it is different to have that knowledge confirmed in a different way, and by people who don't already know me/us. I've spent a bit of time wondering if I can write a 'happy' record next time around. Probably not. I was somewhat reassured recently when watching Radio 2 best duo winners Josienne Clark and Ben Walker (who I went to see in Hebden Bridge). Josienne joked throughout the concert about the downbeat nature of her songs, but was, ultimately, unapologetic. 'You know what you are getting', she said, 'so I don't need to apologise'. People seemed to enjoy it, regardless.

It is also interesting, if slightly disconcerting, to see the different ways that songs might be interpreted. It becomes rather tempting to respond and say 'no, that song is about something different', or it means something different, to me at least. But I guess I'm with those that like a degree of ambiguity in lyrics, and allow that listeners will find their own meanings in a song. One thing I will say, though, is that although I often write in the first person, I'm not always singing about myself. Oh, and that there is a always degree of license in writing - a song might start off being about one thing, but becomes something else (or various things) in the process of writing. In other words, all is well, and not always as it seems.