The last thing that I thought Paul Thomas Saunders' debut album 'Beautiful Desolation' would bring to mind is a movie soundtrack; namely reminiscent of the synth-soaked score to Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive'. After all, Saunders was, until recently, living in Leeds and was best known as a singer songwriter with a guitar. But it seems he's got a much bigger vision for his musical career than following a well-trodden path. Instead, he's reinvented himself to produce an ambitious and arresting album that, for the most part, exceeds your expectations. It's a bold statement of intent and avoids many of the pitfalls made by new artists.
It's those synths that are the heartbeat of the record too. While at first they may sound a little too familiar, or even derivative, the feeling of 80s nostalgia doesn't last for long. There's a dreamlike quality to Saunders' multi-tracked vocals on opening cut 'Kawai Celeste' as they soar above the swathes of distant guitars and percussion. We're definitely in Dream Pop territory here, but unlike some of his more mellow contemporaries, Saunders is keen to point out it won't all be a good trip. He keeps reminding us that, "If I could, I'd break your heart" as he muses on love and death. In the space of 5 minutes, it's pretty clear this isn't your usual introduction to an artist.
While lead single 'Good Women' is more straightforward with its allusions to choirs of angels and a laid back groove, it reinforces some key themes to be found here. Overt religious references are scattered throughout the album, but there's also more subtle references to children and sight which Saunders cements with the line: "I swear I saw my child in her eyes". It's also not the first time that Saunders' concoction sounds remarkably similar to the likes of Doves. The wistful guitars and big choruses demonstrate a confidence in the sound he's developed; there's very little trial and error as he already seems to have refined the approach he's taking.
Continue reading: Paul Thomas Saunders - Beautiful Desolation Album Review
Having been carefully crafting his sound for a number of years, Brighton-based singer/songwriter Paul Thomas Saunders is finally set to unveil his official debut single 'Good Women' ahead of his debut studio album.
Paul has been interested in the world of music all the way through his teens; from singing in Lichfield's Cathedral School choir to writing his own music at 16 and enrolling at Leeds College of Music where he, alas, felt he was 'in chains all of the time'. 'I just didn't feel I was gaining too much', he explained to us in a recent interview, though he remained in Leeds for five years and even wrote his upcoming debut album 'Beautiful Desolation' in the city. He released his first EP in 2010 and in recent times has shown his face at various festivals around the UK (and Texas' SXSW Music Festival) and performed alongside the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, The Staves and Lanterns on the Lake. New single 'Good Women' marks his first release on a major label: Atlantic Records.
'I think this is the most focused song I've ever written', Paul told us. 'We had a real solid grasp on how we wanted it to sound, even before the song had been completely finished.' 'Good Women' is a slow-paced tune about love and relationships and has an ethereal tone to it that is evidence of the influence he draws from esteemed electronic composer Vangelis. Though despite the track's exquisite beauty, Paul admits his favourite song from his new album is final number 'On Into the Night'.
Continue reading: Introducing: Inspired Pop From Brighton's Paul Thomas Saunders
Although only in his early twenties, this Brighton based artist has been creating his unique sound for quite a few years. His psychedelic tracks have been whirling around Leeds, the festivals and last year on tour with some big named bands; now Paul is ready to release his first single, 'Good Women', with high anticipation for the forthcoming album 'Beautiful Desolation' later this year.
Rejecting the band scene and getting creative with his high pitched vocals and keyboard as well as pulling inspiration from 1960s films, Paul Thomas Saunders has something new to bring to the table of the indie-pop scene of 2014.
Contactmusic: Hi Paul, how are you?
Paul Thomas Saunders: Hi, I'm good thanks.
Continue reading: Paul Thomas Saunders - Interview
Paul Thomas Saunders may well hail from West Yorkshire's sprawling financial, cultural and commercial city of Leeds but upon listening to his latest creation you'd be forgiven for thinking he was more of an inter-planetary creation, such is the other worldly nature of his majestic music. The imagery conjured up when you mention Leeds is not necessarily one of beauty, tranquility, serendipity or serenity but his mesmeric and hypnotic compositions certainly are.
After releasing a string of significant EP's ('Four Songs In Twilight' and 'Lilac And Wisteria') over the last few years, as well as coming to the attention of some of the more discerning publications around, he is now releasing four more songs of stupefying quality. 'Descartes Highlands' is uncompromising in its coherent and collective brilliance. The only thing you could fault here is also what makes it such a perfect package...........the fact that you are left wanting more and surely he could have given us an album.
Continue reading: Paul Thomas Saunders, Descartes Highlands EP Review