After The Rain – Paul Lappin (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Sometimes an artist’s vibe, their defining quality, their unique selling point, is less about the face value sound of their music but what is going on below the surface of the sonics. Paul Lappin seems to support this theory of mine. If previous single Life Was Good motored along on an ever building, energetic indie groove, this time out things take a more considered, more understated route. And whilst it is easy to use such catch-all terms as pop or indie to describe what is going on here, what actually connects these two songs has more to do with their less obvious, less tangible qualities.

Somewhere between the clever production, which allows the myriad textures of the musical layers to exist in their own space and complement each other, and the positivity inherent in the writing, you find the real heart of what is going on here. If Life Was Good described a passing of the baton between perhaps father and son, a plea to get out there and really explore life and the world around you, After The Rain is a more personal reminder that the day is there to be filled with wondrous things, no matter how small.

And it is this spirit which shines through Paul Lappin’s music, a love of life, a need to see what is over the horizon or just savour the small things and encourage others to do the same. Musically it bridges a gap between the sweeter sounds of the pre-Britpop era and today’s indie creations. After the Rain chimes and charms in equal measure, the song sits on a lush network of instruments which are woven together to create a fantastic platform for the vocals to dance on and which are given freedom to throw in additional motifs and subtle inclusions, concise musical breaks and clever, one-time-only musical flashes of inspiration.

Not all music has to break boundaries or fuse together genres like mad sonic scientists feverishly working away in midnight laboratories. Sometimes it is all about taking familiar sounds, tried and tested ways of making music and using those building blocks to build something which just gets on with the task at hand. The task being as simple as making cool, charming, addictive and gorgeous music. This is certainly one of those times and it is fair to say that the task has been performed to perfection.

 

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