Mister Justin is – as far as I can tell – a bloke in London. He’s releasing an album of acoustic guitar-driven tunes called With Daylight Still To Spare, and I think it’s pretty cool.
The songs are based in six-string folk sounds. A couple of the album tracks are instrumentals, and Justin’s skill with a guitar is pretty evident: little riffs pop in and out, here and there. Some of the songs remind me of Roy Harper’s Stormcock. There’s an underlying peacefulness, even in the darker songs.
There’s a cover of old poem and sometime-folk tune “So We’ll Go No More A Roving”. The tune is high and mournful, and the guitar playing stays simple, which is what a song like that needs. ”We Had Our Time In The Sun” is really good: a minor-key lament, full of strummed bitterness, and a female vocal counterpoint that makes the song bigger and sadder.
A couple of tracks are perhaps a bit too laid back. “My Only Crime Is I Take My Time” begins to veer a little too close to naff territory with its lyrics, and horns and strings.
But With Daylight…mostly avoids the twee “guy with a guitar” cliché by introducing occasional non-folk elements. There are fuzzy bass sounds, an Indian groove, and some shouting on “Memory Fade Out, Burn Out”. ”Metal Song” may still be acoustic, and it contains a fiddle, but it’s fun, with tongue-in-cheek headbanger riffs acted out. ”You Tell Me I’m Lucky To Have You” is an Irish drinking song with hilarious nonsense sounds.
This is interesting music, fun music, and creative music, well-played.
You can check out the entire album right here.