Too many press releases over use grandiose adjectives for pretenders to the throne. Artists that leave an empty, disappointing hole when you slip in the disc to find them mediocre and so far removed from the words laid before you: ‘stunning’, ‘unique’, ‘beautiful’, ‘prolific’.
It’s unfortunate then, that Paul Thomas Saunders is all of the above, yet these words no longer seem important or special enough to describe the feeling you get from listening to his music, the spellbinding live performance or that voice.
Paul Thomas Saunders is a rarity. His voice is both powerfully emotive and heartbreakingly delicate. Evoking Elvis Perkin’s on his biographical debut album, there’s a depth and introspective feel to the lyrics coupled with a distinguished, breathtaking vocal. Live with backing band, ‘The Fever Dreams’, it’s akin to Villagers in its ability to be dramatic and gentle simultaneously. The reverb-soaked guitars and softly stroked drums a perfect backdrop to Paul Thomas Saunders shy, elusive stage presence, both of which create an ambience that’s captivating during and a long time afterwards.
It explains the wave of excitement and subsequent flurry of reviews across blogs and music press after seeing Paul Thomas Saunders and The Fever Dreams various small support slots - Blue Roses, Low, Villagers, Joan As Police Woman, Patrick Watson and Forest Fire, as well as an opening slot at Leeds Live festival in 2010, followed by a prime evening spot this year - and the interest in his self-released debut EP ‘Four Songs in Twilight’, which culminated in tracks being included on the compilation releases of influential indie labels Dance to the Radio and Dead Young Records.
But here I am with my adjectives, pigeonholing comparisons and talk of the ‘hype’. This press release is redundant, for all you need to do is listen. Because then you can say you were one of the few who heard Paul Thomas Saunders on his first release proper. Who felt it from first listen. Who knew what I did. That words mean nothing. These songs everything. And this is just the beginning for Paul Thomas Saunders.