EP Review

Bleek Noir – Strange Singalongs: EP Review

The new EP from Bleek Noir features Strange Singalongs. “So what’s new?” you may ask. Read on…

Release Date: 2nd October 2021

Label: Bandcamp

Format: digital

Yes indeed. Regular readers and fans of Bleek Noir might well class much of his material under the ‘strange singalongs’ banner. After a stripped back acoustic outing and a set of really enjoyable covers given the Bleek polish, we have the latest dispatch from the front, recorded in the Summer of ’21.

There’s even the suggestion from the inner sanctum that Strange Singalongs might be “the ultimate Bleek Noir record to date.” A more refined sound, a somewhat less angular offering, this collection is an experiment in refining the unmistakable Bleek Noir signature sound. Don’t fret though – he’s not gone all mainstream and chart bound – it’s not that sort of singalong, although can you imagine Bleek Noir as the UK Eurovision representative..?

It’s still distinctly Bleek Noir though. You can recognise that voice anywhere even if it does sound more confident and possibly less dark. Instead of inciting the usual nightmare feeling of running down endless corridors while being pursued by an axe wielding psychopath,

Kicking the Cage fulfils the promises soon enough with as close as you can get to a catchy chorus from our hero. A lyric where the shadows still dance like twisted shapes, the zig zagging guitar lines complemented by an unusual smoothness and vaguely Eighties keyboard influence. A few seconds of Country & Western twang introduce All Over could be in contention for the new theme tune for The Addams Family while again, the chorus provides more evidence for the swing towards more traditional songwriting particularly with some gymnastic vocal lines where he works up a clever little “inspect ya…reflect ya…respect ya,” scan, the emphasis on the “cha”s.

The variety and subtle shift in philosophy continues with the busy percussion and electronic thud that drives Give It A Name with a dominant march while the EP has been teased with the release of the Mediterranean vibe of Lend Me Your Lips. All Spanish flamenco guitar flourishes and possibly a few less obvious handclaps are hidden in the mix. If all else fails, there’s a job down at the local Latino restaurants for a guitar wielding entertainer and confirmation that Bleek is a big old romantic at heart.

Without question, there’s a sense of tweaking the “if it ain’t broken why fix it?” philosophy that highlights both an interest and a propensity for more traditional songwriting. Despite carrying the tag of being a purveyor of classic alternative music sensibilities, Strange Singalongs is a departure, a different pictur ein the same frame, presenting a more rounded Bleek Noir.

Here’s Lend Me Your Lips from the EP:

Bleek Noir online:  Bandcamp / Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Youtube

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