These seven tracks open with an almost-croaky, Alex Turner cardigan voice, straight from the thigh-slapping North of England, with every bit of an Arctic Monkeys pathos, and romantic wistfulness. The sound is delicate, gentle, elegant, but combining sensitivity in the vocal with strength in the music, the way The Courteeners do. Every now and then, for a couple of lines, an old-fashioned melody creeps in, and it has the humour and exuberance of The Beatles, or Queen.
The piano on the third track comes as a surprise, and is a beautiful, accomplished nod to an older time, and it comes combined with a gruff, raw vocal, which turns it very tender. One note to the singer; please, please sing 'Everythin' instead of 'Everyfin', it stopped me enjoying it incompletely, and relaxing, and it undermines the music, which is beautiful.
With a small amount of digging, I've been able to uncover an interesting story behind Florian Lunaire. Their label, Records Records Records, describes the music like this; 'The template is set: piano-led music, packed with intense lyrics and arresting melody', which is pretty spot-on.
Florian himself, on the label's website, describes his vision poetically; 'My name is Florian and I enjoy writing very short stories. They are sometimes set to music. I am hoping to record a collection of songs every season for the rest of my life.' Florian Lunaire, it seems, is forming an individual attack strategy to music in the digital age, even if it is a romantic, troubadour-like one. The label calls it; 'strangely traditional in its appeal'. Spring/Summer 2011 is the initial seasonal release, and it comes as a digital download, complete with digi-booklet. Each season, they tell us, will be compiled into a limited edition remastered vinyl, with extra material, at the end of the year. It's exciting to experience something different, even if only for the break in the norm, and you have to commend someone for standing out from the pack.
The gruffness of the vocal is so gruff that it rivals Paolo Nutini, though not quite Rod Stewart, but I like it, it's very human. It's a real, earthly sound, with the gravel of life, and authenticity, which is so refreshing and enlivening in a world of polished, auto-tuned perfection. It is far better to hear a human voice, with all the worn-in fractures of living, than to hear something created by a computer.
Some tracks, like; 'Summering Here' , are pleasingly, delightful-indie; cheerful ditties that you can look cool to, and which have lovely lyrics. The music, particularly on tracks like; 'Forever Young', feels credible, and competent. Both lyrics and beat have nothing superficial about them. The thought occurred to me, while listening, that you could play them to Keith Richards, and he wouldn't mind. They are good music. The artist's endeavour to produce an original approach, to do something different, is admirable, and a breath of fresh air in a world of plastic music, and these tracks are a joy to listen to. Graceful, poetic in their lyrics, and deeply felt, and enjoyable in their music. I'm excited to hear more from the lovely Florian Lunaire.