Select Page

I Love The New Sky by Tim Burgess (Bella Union/PIAS)

I Love The New Sky by Tim Burgess (Bella Union/PIAS)

I Love The New Sky by Tim Burgess (Bella Union/PIAS)

You may know Tim Burgess as the singer for The Charlatans UK and that band’s rock sound with forays into dance music but until now never heard him solo. On his third solo album I Love The New Sky you’ll hear joyous and oftentimes surprising pop songs with plenty of piano and keyboards and quite a lot of appealing and melodic vocals. Burgess wrote the songs in secluded Norfolk and recorded The Echo Collective string section in Brussels.

From the opening chords of Empathy For The Devil with it’s Boys Don’t Cry piano and guitar intro you know you’re in for a treat. The song has some sweet violin courtesy of avant-jazz violinist Peter Broderick. Daniel O’Sullivan plays bass, drums and piano as well as arranging and production, making him I Love The New Sky’s architect enabling Burgess’ vision and leadership.

Sweetheart Mercury has a weird 8-bit synth voice underlying the piano-led melody with Tim’s beautiful soft vocals. Those vocals get layered up one on top of each other in the middle to pleasant effect. Comme D-Habitude has Burgess singing close-miked and accompanied by female background vocals, Daniel O’Sullivan’s rollicking piano and ThighPaulSandra and Nik Colk Void’s futuristic synth squelches. Strings from The Echo Collective and “ooh’s” and “aah’s” are thrown in as comforting counterpart to the tightly wound sections. The song skips from Southern California sunny pop to tightly wound paranoia to interesting effect. Sweet Old Sorry is a pop ballad with plucked strings and a soulful saxophone.

The Warhol Me rides on a steady beat, a repeated piano melody, pumping bass and more synth squeals and such recalling both Spiritualized and The Velvet Underground with its psychedelic swirls and unwillingness to break the tension. Lucky Creatures is another beast entirely with a dramatic opening of strings and militant drums. The song morphs into a smooth rocker and while the music is peppy and wistful, Burgess’ vocals betray a little bite behind the cool vibes. Timothy has some frolic to it with various entries of playful piano and keyboards and quick changes of tempo. Burgess’ vocal delivery meets the personality of those parts dancing from soul to trippy pop to 70’s soft rock.

Writing in solitude, working with talented musicians and recording in new locales certainly influenced the mood and sound of I Love The New Sky though I feel the album is simply another side to Tim Burgess than we’ve heard before, or at least a different interpretation of the music in his DNA and its an amusing and soulful document of where his is now in life.

(Review by Bret Miller)

Skip to content