Andy Whittle‘s 3rd album released on Folkwit is his strongest yet – his distinctive style honed to near perfection. He remains one of the finest young voices in UK contemporary folk.
“Four years and four albums in, I must confess that Andy Whittle’s a new name to me. And, on the strength of this collection, I think I may have been missing out. It’s not exactly an original set-up – a singer-songwriter backing himself with guitar and piano, with a few guests adding colour on bass, banjo, and backing vocals – but there is a rare expressive conviction in Whittle’s vocal delivery.
The sound is laced with melancholy Americana, yet the songs are unapologetically English: ‘I’s so flipping freezing’, he complains on ‘Wide Awake Waltz’. In tune with the best of a line stretching back to the mid-60s, the songs are introspective but with an acuteness of perception and freshness of expression that will strike home to anyone who’s ever been just a little emotionally fragile – and that’s all of us – isn’t it?
‘Own Sweet Time’ briefly ups the tempo with simple, shimmering guitar lines and lyrics of defiant individuality, but the overarching mood of the album is one of quiet passion. It seems these days that songer-songwriters are ten – maybe fifteen a penny, but Andy Whittle’s a artist who may just leave the herd behind.” ***
- Oz Hardwick, R2 / Rock’n'Reel Magazine, March-April 2011
“…a definite gift for melody, and some of these songs once implanted in your brain will be pretty difficult to shift.”
- Yellowmoon – backroadsmusic.co.uk
“I don’t remember having felt such strong emotions listening to a new artist…a masterpiece.”
- Davide Frascella – www.vanguard-online.co.uk
“Nottingham-based singer-songwriter Whittle writes a good lyric that is backed with such dashing tunes as the infectious ‘Own Sweet Time’. It is one of those songs you just don’t want to end, ever. Such is the rhythm he conjures, and it is closely followed by a melodic ‘Easier Said Than Done’ and wryly penned ‘Parting Song’.
That though good it is unable to equal the likes of the wistful and particularly beautiful piano warmed ‘Spanish Armada’ or for that matter the shrewd creation ‘Wide Awake Waltz’; that offers an effective, subdued banjo and piano in the mix as hints of ragtime, jug band and country folk merge (reminiscent of early Nitty Gritty Dirt Band come American singer-songwriter Randy Newman’s song ‘Livin’ Without You’). A pretty wee gem if ever there were one! Oh, I almost forgot to mention ‘Skimming Stones’ is one of those songs that is so peaceful and charming it could wrest the power from a raging river or the biggest ocean waves.
Listed as the players alongside Whittle (guitars, piano, vocals) we have Helena Derriscott (vocals), Jezz Hall (banjo, bass guitar), Andy Hill (bass, electric guitar), Tom Parratt (drums on ‘Own sweet Time’) and though Whittle does on occasions lean heavily on his trusty piano a little more than I usually prefer even these cuts have grown on me. Such is his composed and beautifully sketched songwriting ability.”
- Maurice Hope – www.americana-uk.com
“Reflections Of An Illusion’ is not an album to have on in the background; it needs to be paid close attention to…more and more satisfying with each listen.”
More here: folkwit.com/artists/andy-whittle
released 01 November 2010