We're told every day in the media that the format of the album is dead and it's all about the single. Jake Morley has just gone and f*cked up that theory by releasing a blinding album in the shape of "Many Fish To Fry", an album that both feels instantly familiar but needs a few plays to really delve in every lyrical twists and turns.
Morley has been playing around London for quite a while now picking up new fans at various boutique festivals across the Summer and even supporting Eric Clapton. Its something that must be far removed from his old career as writer of TV ad music, but if you want to be a real artist you have to pay your due's on the toilet circuit and while most bands would clamour to get their music on a movie sync or advert. Morley has done the whole career in reverse. Fact fans may be also interested that his live band features one half of Nizlopi on double bass
The first track we heard of Morley was Spring single "Freddie Laid The Smackdown", yes bizarrely there's a video for this one already instead of the actual next single released "Feet Don't Fail Me Now". Both are different ends of the scale with the former a rootsy bluesy light stomp that could fit neatly into a more commercial version of the rockabilly band The Brute Chorus, while the latter is a lush epic gospel folk song complete with gospel choir.
If musically the album is cohesive with light and shade, it's perhaps the lyrics which at times are hit and miss depending on the importance you place on lyrics over a good tune. From seemingly heartfelt lyrics that make up most of the album, especially on songs such as "Reeling" and "This City", a real gritty realism on display.... and from that to real cheese overload on "Be With Me Once More" with the rhyming couplet of "I'm a set of car keys down the back of your settee; i'm a choc chip cookie, dunk me in your tea". It must be up there with Des'ree's infamous toast line as to what you just scream why???
That apart the album is one you won't put down and will just grow and grow like Villagers did in 2010. Mercury Music Prize nomination in 2011. Maybe. Maybe not. Doesn't matter. Just a great collection of songs