Fyfe Dangerfield’s recommendation: “There are times when music just appears out of the blue and floors you, and I remember the first time I heard the song Dinah & The Beautiful Blue by Thomas Feiner – on a late-night radio show in the UK called Late Junction. These gorgeous, surging strings swelled in over the radio, and then in came this remarkable voice, a deep, dark beautiful voice, singing lyrics that read like a strange little nursery rhyme. It just has this other-wordly sort of melancholy, it’s almost like it’s a song coming from a ghost, or from someone leaving their body for a minute and singing down to themselves. My attempts to describe it here are pitiful, but listen to it and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.
So this in turn led me to his album, which is just a wonderful, wonderful thing. I think there are slightly different versions floating around, the one I have is actually called Opiates: Revised and is a slightly different tracklisting to the original, but it seems to hang together beautifully. I suppose you could loosely call it an album of torch songs – I’ve never quite known what that expression means but it seems to fit. Listen to it at night-time and it’s a magical experience. Everything about the record just takes you into its world – the production is perfect, never over-stated, but you can tell each sound has been really been put down with love, there’s such a warmth and depth to the sound of it. The orchestral arrangements are sweeping but never stifling, and at the same time there’s a starkness to much of the record, eerie sounds creeping through in the background, a knackered old upright piano here, an awkward bassoon there. And lyrics that cut straight to the heart, but yet still have a dreamlike blurriness to them.
I find myself recommending this album to pretty much everyone I meet that loves music. It’s so important to keep making the time to just stop what we’re doing, sit down, turn off our phones, shut down our computers, and just listen to music and lose ourselves in it – and I think The Opiates is a perfect record to do that to.”
MP3: The Siren Songs (Abridged Version) by Thomas Feiner & Anywhen
About our guest author, Fyfe Dangerfield: Fyfe is all the rage because he is the owns the rich voice that covers Billy Joel’s She’s Always a Woman for John Lewis’ fantastic advertisement (see clip below), but he is also the founding member of The Guillemots, the band whose debut album was nominated for the 2006 Mercury Music Prize. Dangerfield has been busy with high profile side projects since then and in 2010 he released the ultra-melodic Fly Yellow Moon, a record that raked in the praise, including this quote from the Guardian UK: “…the songwriting quality is so high, the tunes have an immediate, instant feel.” 2011 finds Fyfe once again fronting The Guillemots and their latest release, Walk the River is currently tearing up the UK charts.
MP3: When You Walk In the Room by Fyfe Dangerfiled