Even though I readily admit to being a bit of a sucker for folky Indie melancholy, the somewhat strangely titled ‘Psychopaths Dream in Black and White’ turned out to be a delightful surprise. As well as possessing some comforting down beat slices of introspection from the Cambridge three piece, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the beautifully rich swathes of Anna Scott’s Cello, which adds another dimension to the wistful sound of the prolific songwriting skills of front man Adrian Killens.
The folky bliss of ‘All the time’ opens proceedings with an almost childlike comfort to it, which spills over into ‘Hey Mikie’ with its well worn acoustic guitar sound over the bubbly bass line. However, it’s ‘Just Get By’ that first grabs the attention with its melancholic air and beautiful orchestration; the Cello providing a depth and sophistication to enrich their sound. Anna Scott’s orchestral contribution transforms otherwise average tracks such as ‘I’m just like you’ and ‘We were stars’ into soothingly hypnotic slices of aural tenderness.
‘Nothing ever lasts that long’ is another of the stand out moments, conjuring up memories of evenings spent with friends in a laid back vein of easy percussion and acoustic strum to accompany the orchestral melody.
“We walked back through the city lights / Watched the girls on the corner fight /
But now the evening’s gone and nothing ever lasts that long / And all the money doesn’t count / I made a choice to be here now.”
Equally lovely is ‘Silver Cigarette Case’, which once again uses strings to define the melody, though the addition of horns adds another dimension, providing a rare moment of perfectly timed uplift. Although one or two tracks like ‘Tread Carefully’ and ‘Evolution’ are on the predictable side they still make for pleasant enough listening.
So as ‘What more can I Say?’ draws the album to its downbeat close (it takes a minute to realize that’s it and the next track ain’t gonna start) what you are left with is the warm glow of pleasant tunes, evoking that almost elusive feeling of bittersweet nostalgia. It’s most definitely an album to go to after a long day when you need something chilled, but would also be perfect for a boozy night in chatting with old friends about times gone by.
Psychopaths Dream in Black and White is a self release out on September 4th