JEREMY TUPLIN – I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut (Folkwit Records f0141)

AstronautJeremy Tuplin released his debut album, I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut, on September 29th and it will be launched at Paper Dress Vintage in London on October 26th. The album has been described as part of a new genre, “space-folk”, because of its “retro-futuristic feel” and blend of “electronic and synthesised sounds with acoustic and organic instruments”. It’s early days (there have been two EP’s but this is a debut album), but there are indications of a talent much better than that kind of narrow-alley-cult description suggests.

You know you’re in a different world when the opening track is called ‘Albert Einstein Song’ and the first verse, which follows the best part of a two minute introduction, is “Here’s to Albert Einstein and the vision he bestowed/To the few things I have learned and all the things I’ll never know/Like why the universe is even here/For what reason is it employed/Or how energy is neither created nor destroyed” The track then goes into an image of David Bowie’s death and a related spiritual musing that we may be part of “something bigger than you, something bigger than me”. On ‘Anybody Else’ Tuplin takes us to a similarly contemplative place while singing an unforced rhyme between hubris and this “I’m just a figment of my ego’s imagination/Must I resign myself to hubris/A twisted sense of self-entitlement and frustration/Mixed with I’ve never known anybody quite like this”.

The melodies are strong so that the lyrics don’t overwhelm them. Tuplin has a clean picking and strumming style. The songs are recorded with electronic instrumentation (the keyboard sound that gives rise to the genre description of space-folk) that moves towards orchestration and drums that give the songs a steady fullness or, in a couple of instances, turn them into something rockier. The video below, ‘Astronaut’, gives you a good feel for Tuplin’s musical locus but have a listen also to ‘Oh Youth’ for the rockier sound.

The voice is unique. There are elements of Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen in it in that Tuplin sings in deep tones, with a calm timbre of serious matters. But then there’s also a faint tinge of Jake Thackray or Viv Stanshall – just to be clear, this is a compliment. In ‘Did We Lose The Fight’, the vocal subtlety allows Tuplin to deliver lines like “A scratch mark’s nothing more than a battle scar…..I down my drink because I can’t stand this any more/Then I drink until I can’t stand any more…….I admit that I still long for those days/We don’t fight like that any more/Can it be that we’ve both got nothing left to say…. I presume we’ll be going our separate ways” and simultaneously capture the passion of a tumultuous relationship, the seriousness of it falling apart, but also a perspective, a sense that there is more to this world and that this is just two people ‘losing the fight’ (with all the complexity inherent in that phrase).

There’s some rawness on the album – given the reprise of vinyl at the moment, I’m not sure whether the crackling sound on one track is deliberate, but I assume the cough on another isn’t; the image of the puppy playing piano (‘Feel Good Hit’) will probably not appeal to many – but I’d rather have it raw than bland and these are small quibbles about a fascinating and well put together CD.

Give it a listen, it is just possible that this is the debut album of someone who is going to be filling halls and festival stages in the coming years.

Mike Wistow

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the JEREMY TUPLIN – I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

Artist’s website: http://www.jeremytuplin.com

Following the album launch in London, Tuplin is on tour in Spain and the UK in November.

‘Astronaut’ – official video:

Singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin announces debut album

Jeremy Tuplin

I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut is the debut album of London-based singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin and follows two independently released EPs: Open Letters (2016) and Carry The Fire (2014).  His voice has a uniqueness expressing itself through the less commonly used, lower register and his song-writing extends beyond the conventions of the genre.  In the words of BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, his music is: “Unconventional, conversational and intimate.”  The Telegraph Culture Section described his music as, “Stunningly candid…A distinctive deep vocal that has hints of Leonard Cohen and Bill Callahan.”  Clash Music observed, “A cosmic gem…” with Tuplin “Cooking up something special.”

Recorded with long-time collaborator Mark Estall at Marketstall Studio, South Bermondsey with some recordings taking place in both Tuplin’s and Estall’s living rooms, the album combines electronic and synthesised sounds with acoustic and organic instruments for a ‘retro-futuristic feel’ branching into a genre which could be described as ‘space-folk’.

The theme that underpins this album is escapism, and with that, visions of the cosmos – a debut worthy of attention.

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the Jeremy Tuplin link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

Artist’s website: http://www.jeremytuplin.com/

“Jeremy Tuplin may be the missing link between Nick Drake and ‘Space Oddity’-era Bowie. “I dreamt I was an Astronaut” is an engaging piece of work, blending excellent folk-based songwriting with creative and gently overarching production that fittingly frames Tuplin’s songs, taking them to a different and unexpected place.” – Folk Radio UK

‘Did We Lose The Fight?’ – live:

Jeremy Tuplin announces new single and debut album

Jeremy Tuplin

London-via-Somerset newcomer Jeremy Tuplin will release his debut LP I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut in the summer of 2017.   Following on from his two independent released EPs (2016’s Open Letters and 2014’s Carry The Fire EP), his music was described in The Telegraph Culture section as ‘Stunningly candid… A distinctive deep vocal that has hints of Leonard Cohen and Bill Callahan.’

The album was recorded with long-time collaborator Mark Estall, mostly in his new Marketstall Studio in South Bermondsey (with extra recording taking place in both Tuplin’s and Estall’s living rooms). Musically the new songs take a different direction to the earlier released EPs, combining electronic and synthesised sounds with more acoustic and organic instruments for a ‘retro-futuristic feel’ to branch into a genre which could, possibly, be described as ‘space-folk’.

The first taster from the new album comes in the shape of ‘Where The Light Ends’ which you can hears below.

This song is split into two halves – one a journey into space, and the other describing the closure of a flawed relationship. Both connected in certain ways and by the refrain “Where the light ends, and the darkness begins”, before coming to an instrumental, spacey resolution.

“Stunningly candid… A distinctive deep vocal that has hints of Leonard Cohen and Bill Callahan” The Telegraph Culture
“Cohenesque… A dexterous lyricist with an ear for gentle melody.” Whisperin and Hollerin
“A gorgeous, swooning, romantic EP… A tight, careful, ornate beauty over 5 tracks. It sounds effortless, which is a grand achievement.” Independent Clauses

Artist’s website: http://www.jeremytuplin.com/