Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Review by Matt Glass
Delight proliferates with this tremendous record. A perfect cut of acoustic/folk/pop that would sit quite contentedly on a Jack Johnson or Ray Lamontagne album.
The song is called Blue Skies and is by a Manchester based solo artist called Andrew Farrell. The tune drifts along so effortlessly and it is such an entertaining listen. One is transported to a nighttime beach campfire or to some dark corner of a chillout room at a party.
Musically the song is driven by acoustic guitar, Andrew has a dramatic fingerpicking style and his hook here is very fluid. I really enjoy the slides, squeaks, raps and rasps of the guitar on the recording. This gives the track that earthy sensation that you just miss with the overproduced contributions that emanate into the world these days.
The song vamps two thirds through with full and slow stings and a beautiful piano accompaniment that, to me, was reminiscent of Gliderby the composer Bill Conti (soundtrack from The Thomas Crown Affair).
The piano is sitting there just below everything else in the mix but still manages to cut through softly and be truly stirring, moreover, it totally fits the piece as it is unavoidably elevated towards its natural climax.
The lyrics are mature and upbeat with lines like “In my eyes I see blue skies and all my troubles and worries just pass me by” leaving one feeling good about things, with the world is as it should be. The refrain he comes back to several times of “in my dreams I always play the hero” is a nice sentiment and one I think we probably would all agree on.
Andrews voice is the true star here though. A fabulously warm and powerful instrument that has a gravelly and almost older statesman of rock tone to it. In fact, Andrew gives away his heritage when he sings. After a little research I discovered he hails from Dundee and it does show (I would like to hear a Maggie May cover, let’s just put it like that)
A bright future undoubtedly awaits, one need only head to his Facebook page to take a listen to his Oh Darling cover – pure electric!