Seasons Is the latest offering from the multi-talented Chris Lee-Mar, aka Esperi and like walking into a warm room with an open fire on a cold winter’s night it feels rich warm and welcoming.
It is recorded like Lee-Mar is in the room playing to you personally in a wonderfully close and almost homemade fashion, uplifting and almost sickeningly happy the lyrics drift along with subtle Scottish undertones, while the music has a post-rock instrumental edge yet remains light, lifting and almost lazy.
Lee-Mar uses relaxing looped drum beats, tinkling percussion and singing guitars to help his lyrics paint vivid scenes, this is perfectly illustrated in ‘Branches’ in which he sings off being “free as a bird flying over the ocean,” with the honesty and naivety of his voice and the lyrics putting you smack bang in the middle of that picture.
Title track, ‘Seasons’ is a gentle song of a Scottish childhood, which uses a sensitive guitar hook and recordings of the wind and ocean to conjure up happy memories.
It’s a romantic tale that is skilfully constructed and has the sound of crunching footsteps leading you to the end of a journey that would stir fond memories in even the hardest heart.
Quirky recorded sounds are a hallmark of the album with ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ starting to the sound of a coin rolling on a hard surface before a melodic guitar loop kicks in over hypnotic drums.
This is a more up-beat track with diffused lyrics and a synthesised sound to spell out a quiet love story.
If there was any criticism of this album it would be that tracks at times are similar to the point that they melt into each other, however if you are a fan this will be far from a problem.
This is a nice collection of songs that shouldn’t be listened to if you are in a cynical mood, instead pour a glass of red wine close the curtains against the wind and rain and indulge your inner hippy.
Words: Peter Dorrington