Thursday, 23 June 2016

Max Ferrier - That's All I Have To Say Review

“Pretty miserable…”.  So reads the caption at the top of the soundcloud page belonging to Folk
Singer-Songwriter Max Ferrier.  While it fairly appropriately encapsulates the general atmosphere of the smattering of Jeff Mangum style home recorded demos that can be found in Ferrier’s catalogue, I’d argue he’s selling himself somewhat short. 

Ferrier’s most comprehensive and focused piece of work is the three song demo “That’s All I Have to Say”, which opens with the grief stricken “Stable”.  Comprised sonically of merely Ferrier’s voice and acoustic guitar recorded on cheap equipment, the instrumental part is as bare and despairing as the heart breaking lyrics.  Flashes of real poetry are on display here, with lines such as, “Far into the orchard I’ve run, I’d hear you’re call and catch you before you fall”, being amongst those that perfectly convey a sense of loss inspired by true devotion to a previous lover.  The often off-kilter and sporadic guitar playing lends the song a sense of frantic desperation, affording it yet another dimension of youthful teenage heartbreak. 

“Mistress of Manipulation” follows, which opens with Ferrier destitute in his admission that “I’ve lost faith in me and you, subconsciously I always knew, what you were.”  He bitterly extends the claim that his former lover is a “Mistress of manipulation” as the title suggests.  “Drumshantie” opens with a guitar passage that wouldn’t have been amiss on Sufjan Stevens “Carrie and Lowell”.  It envisions Ferrier adrift at sea, floundering amongst the waves in search of a current that will carry him to safety, and begging, “please don’t leave me here to drown”. 

In the creatively lucrative world of depressing indie folk music, Ferrier is certainly worthy of considerable acclaim.  Deeply confessional and honest sonnets for fans of Bon Iver, I recommend streaming this demo and keeping an eye on this future talent.

Charlie McCartney