Fraser Anderson has been a father, a son, a brother and a husband. All of these relationships inform his songs as he sings about love, loss and loyalty.  The ties that stretch and fray as they bind us to others.  Anderson was born in Edinburgh and cut his musical teeth as a drummer in hip hop bands.  A meeting with Scottish musical institution Dougie McLean drew him into the folk world.  Moving to France with his young family, Anderson crafted his songs while working in kitchens and on building sites, building a fan base through local gigs.  Returning to the Uk in 2013, Anderson immersed himself in Bristol’s musical melting pot.  Now with three albums behind him Anderson has released his best album yet, the crowd funded Under The Cover Of Lightness. 

Anderson

From the first strokes of the skittering, brushed drums and the muted horns of opening song, Simple Guidance, I was reminded of  John Martyn.  That’s a good thing – I love John Martyn.  Simple Guidance segues into Beautiful Eyes and a completely different set of influences.  An electronic wash under acoustic guitar and a supporting vocal from Beth Baxter suggests a mostly unplugged Portishead.  The electronic influence builds in Go On Wide Part 1; glitches and beats drive the song as Anderson’s vocals float lazily on top.  Bird song and the sound of oars on water take us into part 2; all gently picked acoustic  guitar and shimmering electrics. A sleepy summer sound, it’s over too soon.  The Wind And The Rain matches acoustic guitar with a string quartet, drums and a low flute before a gently swirling Hammond.

The spoken rhymes of With You All retrace Anderson’s hip hop roots before, cradled by string quartet and string bass, Crying From My Heart introduces a trio of songs that forms the album’s emotional centrepiece.  These songs: Crying From My Heart, Five Days and Rising Sons examine three kinds of love, fraternal love, lost love, and paternal love.  All different but all heart-deep, resonating like the woody tones of the acoustic bass lines that underpin them.

John Scott

Under The Cover Of Lightness is available now from www.fraseranderson.com.

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