Let me begin by being honest. It took me a few listens to get 2013. As I begrudgingly hit the ‘Play All’ button for what felt like the 100th time, something clicked. And it wasn’t my dodgy laptop.
Meilyr Jones released his debut solo single ‘Refugees/Birds’ in August 2015. Now follows the drop of the album, named 2013 after an eventful year that Jones experienced. Involvement with several other projects prior to his solo venture means that Meilyr Jones is not new to the scene. He was once a member of the, now separated, Welsh band Race Horses and has since toured with the likes of Neon Neon.
I think it was Jones’ veerry Morrissey sounding vocals as well as the Dire Straits reminiscent twangs in the melodies that distracted me from the talent behind it at first. I found it difficult to take seriously. However, with time I realised this isn’t a pitiful tribute to 80s culture. This is something of substance.
I’m not sure that it’s appropriate to call this a pop album. That being said I’m sure they’ll love ‘How To Recognise A Work Of Art” at Radio 2. This album feels too intricate to be popular. Jones is the child with few friends at school because his mind is of a further consciousness to that of his peers. Wistful for a time he never knew. This a well-crafted scrapbook of sounds.
Jones, speaking of the records’ creation, says: “I conceived of the record as a compilation of myself, over the period of a year. As an anthology, a collection of my songs and of what happened to me in that year.”
In ‘Refugees’ Jones instructs us to “Turn off your television”. He proceeds to give us reason to, bursting into a vocal extravaganza. Some tracks such as ‘Return to Life’ completely throw me off – unsure as to what Jones is going for besides a Game of Thrones motif. Previously mentioned ‘How To Recognise A Work Of Art’ is the catchiest and so a good choice as the albums introduction.
All in all, an interesting listen. I have a feeling my mum is going to love this one. Keep an eye on Meilyr Jones and his revivalist spirit, let’s see if the people are ready for him.