Simon Godfrey: Motherland

Shineback and Tinyfish man – unplugged and unpretentious.

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With Tinyfish on hiatus, a withdrawal from live work, the release of last year’s ambitious dance flavoured Shineback project, and time spent in America (a precursor to permanent residency), Simon Godfrey has paused to reflect. His first ‘proper’ solo album comprises personal and varied compositions ruminating on what we give up and leave behind.

He himself says it’s unfair to present Motherland as a ‘prog’ album. No 15-minute epics here: this is stripped down singer/songwriter fare – acoustic guitars and voice, with occasional bass, drums and additional instrumentation.

It’s retro in places, Tearing Up the Room strikes an early Beatles vibe, harmonica and all. Fans of Godfrey’s vocals and writing style should be happy, with Tinyfish and Shineback tracks (The June Jar and Faultlines respectively) getting the acoustic treatment here. The crop of new songs are catchy (Dust and Wires, God Help Me if I’m Wrong) and tender (The Inaccurate Man, Sally Won’t Remember).

Former lyricist Robert Ramsay even pops up, delivering the evocative spoken words of the title track. Low-tech perhaps, but undeniable quality nonetheless.