Where Once Were Roads’ from Sugardrum (aka Nigel Bunner)(February 21, 2013)
Just recently it seems I’ve reviewed an increasing number of singer/songwriter albums and sometimes no matter how hard you try, it can be difficult to differentiate one from another. No insult intended to anyone - that’s just the way it is. Then again, it’s doubly refreshing when you find one that possesses a clear differentiation factor. ‘Where Once Were Roads’ from Sugardrum (aka Nigel Bunner) has that distinguishing touch – searching vocals and finely fingerpicked acoustic guitar combine to deliver appealing, tender tales, and for good measure some songs include well-placed cello and keyboard electronica touches.
Apparently, Sugardrum is a ‘musical umbrella’ under which Nigel Bunner purveys his softly engaging music. Be that as it may, Nigel can certainly write a melodic hook and produces some fine songs. It’s often hard for artists to show an audience the spread of their talent through the restrictions of an EP but this one promises much (although including the lyrics would be good for its intricate tales). ‘Where Once Were Roads’ features only four songs but there’s enough here to await the expected album with interest. Such as the gentle, questing of ‘Dancers in a Painting’ offering its story of changes and resignation, the emphatic understanding of growing up implicit within ‘School Friends’ complete with echoing cello and the layered expectation of discovery within ‘Bubble Clouds’.
From a deft touch on the acoustic guitar, a certain gift for melody and a distinctive voice this EP is the taster that should attract people to the album. You can find Sugardrum and ‘Where Once Were Roads’ on www.sugardrum.com
Reviewer: Dan Holland