You will probably enjoy the shit out of Ferraby Lionheart. I’m sorry, there’s just no other way for me to put it. His optimistically fragile take on the everyday is just too damn enjoyable. It’s light, it’s quirky, and it’s been compared to the likes of Elliott Smith and The Beatles – a sentiment where seldom is heard a justified word. But Lionheart is out to prove himself so he’s put together an LP full of songs that inspire mellow happiness and shy confidence, and thus… Catch The Brass Ring.
Ushering in Lionheart’s sweet novella of melody is “Uno Ballo Della Luna,” a simple folk tune about a short dance under the moon. He sets the mood for an album that seems to primarily focus on his basic talent and add the occasional embellishment for a full flavor. Sometimes the additions are large – the New Orleans jazz intro to “Before We’re Dead.” Sometimes they’re small – the support of “Call Me the Sea” by strings and brass. My only complaint would be that these additions connect the tracks together for a breeze of a listen. Lionheart’s lyrical ability ain’t too shabby either; in “Youngest Frankenstein” he recounts the classic tale of reconstruction with an almost tongue-in-cheek twist on the everyday relationships of youth. And to say that “Under the Texas Sky” is adoringly sentimental would be an understatement. “I miss you like the honey jar misses the bear.” It’s almost too sweet.
Favorites came tough on an album where upon its completion my first thought was “holding hands in a glowing bath of sunrise,” but…
“Small Planets” is by far the easiest record I’ve heard all year. Its ease of listen is made all the more so by the gleeful interplay between Lionheart’s slightly wavered, double-tracked voice and his piano. The spirit is lifted higher by a here and there dash of strings and brass, surrounding the warm-hearted lyrics with a hopeful cushion.
Also there’s “The Car Maker.” It’s got some of the catchiest lyrical flow on the album and ends with happy naivety. “It’s not that I don’t see, it’s that I don’t want to see/It’s not that I don’t know, it’s that I don’t want to know.” It perfectly encompasses the innocence of Lionheart’s first full-length.
On his official site, there are twenty-two single sentence, matter-of-factly stated pieces of information about Ferraby Lionheart. Apparently he’s smart, but not too smart; both a planet and humanitarian; wants to own a small self-sustaining farm and be a justifiably soft-singing musician that loves show tunes and Gene Wilder… a knowledge that gives just as good an idea (if not better) of what his style is like than any of my words have. Catch The Brass Ring is definitely worth checking out.