Dunblane’s Aaron Fyfe is a man and a guitar, with a stripped back sound and voice laden with emotion, who delivers intoxicating tracks in his superb debut album Ten Songs.
Rarely does an artist arrive on the scene with a sound as complete and mature as this collection and his songs are full of a soul-bearing beauty, allowing the listener to connect deeply with the record.
His lyrics are honest and simple and his every word paints a story with his soulful lyrical delivery.
Having spoken to the man himself, he comes across as a bit of a hippy troubadour, basing himself in Cornwall for the surfing and touring his songs in a beat up campervan.
He happily tells me that he recorded the album in three weeks and although an album is “never really finished” sometimes you have just got let it out there.
‘Campfires’ kicks the album off in a mellow mood; a yearning anti-love song, it is wonderfully simple and subtly melancholy.
Strumming guitar and soft lyrics eventually come on strong with a gentle drum beat fading in.
Second track ‘Love That’s Lost’ has a stronger feel to it, but remains delicate with a picked melody interspersing the rhythm.
Gentle love song ‘Rabbits’ continues the soulful folky vibe with the delicious lyric “if I had one more day, I would pick the day you decided to stay,” simple percussion accompanies guitar with Fyfe’s voice almost floating the track along.
‘All These Days are Changing’, written in the aftermath of the referendum is, as Fyfe explains, “non-political” and instead tells a tale of modern Scotland.
With an upbeat feel and introducing electric guitar it feels almost revolutionary and harks back to the protest songs of Dylan.
The upbeat mood continues with ‘Something Real’, a duet about a dying relationship in which he shares vocal responsibility with a female singer, with who he bats lines back and forth in a verbal sparring match.
Emotion drips from ‘In Your Stead’, written for his grandfather it portrays final moments and promises.
An accordion provides a sad tone and Fyfe pours feelings through the lyrics in a real heart-tugging track; it’s impossible not to connect with the singer and this is a stand out.
Melodic yet disconsolate ‘Letting Go’ is a classical tale of ending a relationship, but has a delightful modern twist in the lyrics.
A flourish of guitar introduces the almost cold lyrics with the gut-wrenching punch of “if loves not for me it’s certainly not for you,” clearly painting the tale of the track.
Fyfe’s voice is wonderfully illustrated in ‘Rocking Chair’, don’t get me wrong he is not the best singer out there but he has soul and emotion and he knows how to deliver his lyrics to best effect; this song is the perfect tonic, timed to lift the mood of the album.
‘Dirty Glass’ has an American folk twang to it and almost doffs a cap Creedence Clearwater Revival and bands of that ilk and final track ‘On The Road’ brings the curtain down with a warm song of enduring love and human spirit.
Aaron Fyfe slots cleanly into the genre of singer-songwriter folk, he does it better than most and this album is a real charmer.
One man and a guitar types are a dime a dozen, but when the music is delivered to this standard success is bound to follow.
Words: Peter Dorrington