The latest installment of lo-fi bedroom introspection from prolific singer songwriter Aaron McMullan, Songs From The Back Room, his fifth internet only mini-album, sees the Northern Irishman raise his game. Stripped down to just acoustic and vocals, it's a no-budget cousin to the countrified melancholia of Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker, with the slightest hint of Bright Eyes' outsider pop. Sub-two minute gem "Goth Girls Turn Me On" displays both an acute wit and undeniable catchiness, while "Screamin And Then Stoppin" is a cigarette-fuelled acid riposte to an ex-lover. McMullan's mid-Atlantic delivery can sound a touch affected at times, a little too put on, but for the most part Aaron's voice successfully marries an essential roughness with the fragility necessary to convey the sentiments expressed. If there's a criticism it's that McMullan can bury a touching and devastatingly tender tale of obsession and unrequited love in the strangest of places. You don't go looking for that, as a general rule, in something called "The Ballad Of The Kirsten Dunst Tennis Ball". But then it never bothered Dylan either. Songs From The Back Room is an occasionally bitter but always smart and insightful affair that's packed with promise. You can make better things in bed, just not much better.
Download Songs From The Back Room at Mondo Irlando
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