Meilyr Jones : 2013

2013 is a debut solo release, it is an art pop concept album and it is a marvel.

Written by Meilyr Jones as autobiographical sketches from the difficult year after Race Horses split in 2013, which was compounded by a relationship ending, this album startlingly uncorks rather than starts, with the exuberant, horn impelled pop of How To Recognise A Work of Art.

It reflects throughout on a time transformed by a trip to Rome to 'see something new and different', and the songs are written about individual episodes during that period. It's a questioning, soul searching album without self indulgence; extending almost warm nostalgia to a period of necessary transition.

The music is uplifting, animated, crafted, and the revelatory lyrics make the whole a cinematic experience.

Highlights include the Northern Soul influenced dexterity of the opening track, and the following Don Juan, which starts with a renaissance harpsichord setting the mood for what has been termed 'chamber pop'; Refugees, a simple piano song, and lastly Be Soft, the lessons learnt gently reflected on in a delicately sung close.

The CD insert opens to reveal the mass of musicians who have worked on the pieces, chamber orchestra, choir and in total 24 people for the band tracks, but this brings accent and delight not clutter and loss of coherence.

Rich in references but original in its composition; vivid, provocative, engaging pop music.

MEILYR JONES I How to Recognise a Work of Art