20 Apr 2016

Meilyr Jones / 2013 (album review)

Meilyr Jones is an artist; he hails from the valleys of Wales and creates some of the most instantly classic music in the world today. In creating the rich tapestry that is his debut record 2013, Meilyr's looked back to look forward - not like in the way that your ten-a-penny MBV ripoffs and dense commodities of Nirvana wannabes look back, but in a much more refined, broad way that takes influence from both the recent and distant past of human art - Meilyr Jones brings retro to its logical conclusion.

The crashing drums at the start of How To Recognise A Work Of Art, the album's glorious opening gambit, are just a red herring. It starts off sounding like a sauntering version of Rocks by Primal Scream, before a deadpan art criticesque voice sounds: "how to recognise a work of art, by adrian meilyr jones" and you're plunged into a beautiful, bright microcosm soundtracked by horns and strings and the gorgeous voice of Meilyr Jones. There's so much brightness on the album opener, Jones' voices is a ray of sunshine kinda like Paul Heaton (The Housemartins) or Julian Cope, whilst the end of almost every line is puncutated by a trumpet trill or a violin squall.

But that sets the pattern for things to come. Through 12 songs, Meilyr Jones uses such an array of instruments to create his own world that sounds slightly 1600s baroque, slightly 30s Hollywood score, slightly 60s bubblegum pop, and slightly fucking perfect. On Rome, the medieval baroque feel is at it's max; harpsichord trickles give it a really beautifully elegant and timeless feel - but that's just a lotta Meilyr Jones - where it sounds slightly medieval, slightly like recent history and slightly like the future, it just sounds like a classic from the first time it caresses your ears.

His finest moments, like on How To Recognise... and some of the gems I've not mentioned yet like Strange Emotional and Featured Artist, are when he combines perfectly honed pop structures with the batshit instrumentation and his outlandish extroverted vocals. There's just something so bright and satisfying about every note of these, and Meilyr's just so charismatic with his delivery - there's very few records that'll affirm life throughout like this, and there's just so many gems in there.

The likes of Olivia and Return To Life are packed with bravado, sounding like they're the score from outlandish films and suchlike, whilst Be Soft sounds massive and ridiculously pompous and bombastically pretentious in the best and most essential way possible. This record throughout is catchy, instantly memorable, and genuinely, it sounds straight away like a classic. Meilyr Jones has crafted a thing of beauty in 2013, and in bringing retro to its logical conclusion he might just have put out the album of 2016.


Words: Calum Cashin