Boo Sutcliffe is a Yorkshire singer-songwriter and Blink is his debut album – a remarkably sophisticated one, at that. Boo does nearly everything: writing, singing, playing and producing employing a few friends, mostly on bass and vocals and string arrangements.
I struggled to get past the opening track, ‘Meet Me In…’: as soon as it finished I wanted to play it again. I’m still not totally sure where he’s going with it but there is a feeling of loss and yearning running through the whole record. Boo is asking someone to meet him in a series of exotic locations (if you count Highgate – I assume he means the cemetery) but clearly she (I presume) never appears. The second track, ‘Running Man’, concerns a confusing relationship – is he running towards or away?
Boo’s sound is somewhere in the territory of singer-songwriter in the Americana style and country rock, the latter exemplified by the big band number, ‘Promises’. That is followed by an example of the former, ‘Letter To My Younger Self’, probably my favourite track with the killer line, “I took my time to realise the loneliest word is ‘no’”. I stopped and thought about that for quite a while.
‘Almost Done’, another big production, veers rather more towards pop, particularly as it begins. Boo does everything on this track, proving what a talented guy he is. Almost as good as ‘Letter To My Younger Self’ is ‘Impervious’, a song of tangled philosophy. “All men will feed their own insecurities” seems to sum it up but there is a streak of nihilism that I imagine I hear throughout Blink. ‘Afterglow’ is about another confused relationship as is ‘Overboard’, in which Boo’s nihilism is more pronounced, admitting “I was insufferable” and talks about wanting nothing from the past.
‘Blink’, which closes the set, is another song I’m still puzzling over and will continue to do so a while yet. But that’s part of the appeal of this album – even as the final notes fade away you’re aware that you haven’t actually finished yet and that is the measure of a fine record.
Artist’s website: www.boosutcliffe.com
‘Meet Me In…’ – official video: