- 07 Nov 19
Love is in the air
David Turpin is an artistic handful: screenwriter, songwriter and musician, a man so talented he can often fall victim to the versatility that makes him so compelling. His latest offering, Romances, is a collection of a dozen vignettes, detailing the best and worst of love, lust and all the shit that goes with it. Sounds a little too straight for a Dave Turpin album? Well, naturally, there's a twist.
For this record, Turpin plays puppet-master. He has enlisted 10 guest artists - deliberately all male, a Chekhov's gun to challenge misogynists' stigmata of romance - to perform his songs with varying degrees of nuance and swagger. Among them are Bear Worship, alt-folk hero Gar Cox and Villagers' Conor O'Brien. The end result is his most impressive outing to date. The soft-synth opener 'Concubine', featuring Dundalk artist Elephant, sets the electric tone with a faint tip of the cap to James Blake.
The title-track, featuring vocals from Nigerian-Irish singer Xona, best encapsulates the theme of the record. This is music for late night, smoke-filled backrooms, to be enjoyed by those both nursing shattered hearts, and lost in the arms of new lovers. It covers either end of that galaxy, and the space in between. Turpin has gambled by removing himself from the drama to direct artists such as O'Brien (excellent on album closer 'Couldn't Do Without'). However, this conceit is also the record's greatest strength. Turpin, it seems, is totally at home calling the shots.