Still only in my early thirties, Kyle falconer lived enough for three lifetimes. Turning to mercurial fame with The View as he was barely emerging from his teenage years, there was always more to this independent leader than one could imagine. With an almost Catholic taste for music – from vintage soul to pop, indie rock to classic songwriting – he was able to take the Dundee band through time and tides, bypassing continually the obstacles in their path.
Her own life, however, hasn’t always been so easy to navigate. His second solo LP, “No Love Songs For Laura,” deals with addiction and redemption, fatherhood and loss; in many ways his most revealing statement to date, it deals with the profound changes in his life as he turned to music, a continuing fascination with the craft.
As a result, ‘No Love Songs For Laura’ is pleasantly broad. ‘Stress Ball’ channels his passion for ’60s R&B, a hard-hitting track that contains traces of mod icons the Small Faces – it’s also fun, the sound of a beleaguered soul breaking out and tapping into some of its influences trainers. The tight ‘Wait Around’ has a disco feel, exemplifying some of the carefree studio experiments that took place in the Libertines-owned Margate studio.
Yet it is also a very revealing record. The title track “Laura” deals with Kyle’s experiences in rehab and alludes to the stabilizing factor fatherhood gave to his life. Conversely, “Mother” deals with loss; Kyle’s mother passed away when he was just 21, and this candid writing has a heartbreaking sense of childlike innocence.
With Kyle and producer Frankie Sigarusa playing each instrument themselves, there is a cheerful sense of experimentation at work here. As a result, however, not everything falls out – “Rake It In” perhaps is a bit bright, for example, and lacks the indie bite that made The View’s debut album such a defining moment for the band.
But maybe it is rude. Kyle Falconer has found a balance in his life and – maybe – a little bit of happiness too. God knows he deserved it.
Words: Robin murray
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