Review | Serious Child – Empty Nest

Serious Child Empty Nest Album Cover

Out June 22nd via TCR Music 

Rating: 8/10

By Shirin Hodgson-Watt

‘Empty Nest’ is both easy to sink into and yet also unexpected, drawing on primarily mellow folk-hued instrumentation as tales weave intriguing tendrils around a central theme charting the passage of time, twelve artfully framed introspective sketches of disparate lives, each illustrated with a degree of care and natural detail that permits a level of observation and assumed understanding that comes as something of a surprise, while the dusting of almost gothic darkness that permeates many of the lyrics adds a crackle of disquieting unease when set against the frequently sunny melodies.

Occasional Latin flourishes nestle alongside brief flashes of Continental ooh-la-la, adding a quirky dash of zingy spice and contrast to the rock solid folk foundations (reinforced at one point by a guest lead vocal appearance on one track by The Changing Room’s Tanya Brittain), as Alan’s not-so-trad vocals and the whispered fleeting echoes of ‘70s rock lift the album to an instantly broader platform, casting wide its appeal to audiences well beyond its more immediately predictable demographic. If I’m truthful, I really didn’t know what I’d make of this album when I received it, given its disarming lack of screaming guitars, thunderstorm drums, and wailing monochromatic angst, but it’s sucking me in deep with each listen.