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Fraser Anderson - Under The Cover Of Lightness (Membran)

Star rating: 
3

I've followed the creative progress of Scottish songwriter and singer Fraser Anderson since back in 2004, when he relocated his family to rural France and eventually released his cottage industry produced debut album AND THE GIRL WITH THE STRAWBERRY. He wrote the songs on the album whilst working in kitchens and on building sites, scraping together a meagre existence whilst holding tightly onto his dream of seeing his songs played out on a bigger stage. Fast forwards to the present day, and in spite of Anderson releasing two more albums since the debut recording, he has largely flown under the radar in the UK, despite receiving glowing recognition from Bob Harris for his second album COMING UP FOR AIR, which he described as 'truly beautiful' and invited Fraser to record two sessions for his BBC radio 2 show. Anderson moved back to the UK on 2014, basing himself in Bristol, and following a successful crowdfunding campaign, he set to work on this newly released UNDER THE COVER OF LIGHTNESS. The new album is a more mature, sensitive and yet far more complex and courageous work than his previous three releases.

The songs benefit from a much more layered style of production, losing the abject sparsity of his previous work, and which move confidently betwixt theme and mood with gorgeous female harmonies and gentle orchestrations floating the ear between Damien Rice and Portishead. Standout tracks include the closing song on the album Rising Sons, the smooth jazz feel of Simple Guidance and the beautifully plaintive The Wind And The Rain backed with understated cello, fiddle and double bass and seasoned with some exquisite flute and Hammond organ work. UNDER THE COVER OF LIGHTNESS should be the springboard that affords Fraser Anderson a much wider audience base. A beautifully crafted album of songs that hundreds of people have already pulled together to help the world discover this unassuming and long understated songwriter.

Phil Carter
Northern Sky