Album Review: Chamfer by Jack Cookson
by Danni Gillespie
Jack Cookson | Photo by Ryan Sharpe
As soon as ‘Thistles’ started playing, I knew Chamfer was going to be an album I would enjoy. With a sound reminiscent of Ruarri Joseph, the song incorporated a cheery backdrop, wonderful folk vocals and exciting lyrical content. Jack Cookson is a multi-instrumentally talented musician, with a beautiful country-esque voice. Devon-based Cookson’s raw emotional vocal stylings compliment the intricate finger-style guitar arrangements, melodic accompaniments and easy listening style this track encompasses. The wonderfully clever lyrical content will speak to any listener; Cookson sings of a (south west) journey, music and misery. Alongside the raw emotional and easy listening instrumentals, this song creates a sense of bitter-sweet hope as he is not alone in this journey.
‘Ocean Song’ introduces a slowed tempo, beautiful harmonica and a catchy bass-line. Cookson whisks the listener off on a calm sea-faring journey. The pure emotion elicited in Cookson’s voice steers this track, supported by minimal yet beautiful instrumental. You could sit, listen and drift away in a sea of calm thoughts listening to ‘Ocean Song’ in a “wide ocean blue” created for you. A beautiful follow-up to an impressive introductory song.
Next we are introduced to ‘Patchouli’, a stripped back heart wrenching track. Kept awake at night by a lost love and heartache Cookson talks of feelings he cannot verbalise and asks the question “in four words or less tell me how little you cared?” Feelings that many have experienced yet Cookson makes the listener seem vulnerable to them all over again though the honesty of his writing: a skill he has truly mastered.
Cookson's music "will fill you with hope, joy and an uncontrollable desire to dance along".
Building to a beautiful instrumental crescendo he asks “Can you still see the green in my eyes?” ‘Circus’ guides us further on our relaxing journey into chilled out folk and blues. With simple-but-effective instrumental, Cookson sings of his “Western cocoon” and the ignorance of our world, and his life – “it your name that I’ve been singing for.” This honest, gentle track sings of something we can all relate to: escape, running off and joining the circus.
Our journey with Cookson concludes with ‘My Imp of a Mind and Chamfer’. ‘My Imp of a Mind’ changes the tempo with an upbeat guitar, drums and harmonica. Cookson’s finger-picking guitar style creates a slightly sinister backdrop for a tale of human debauchery. A striking pace-changer. Chamfer slows us back down again for Cookson’s send off. Cookson’s spins the a tale of upbringing, his father, mother and the struggle of applying meaning to one’s own existence. This track builds to an all-consuming instrumental crescendo that will fill you with hope, joy and an uncontrollable desire to dance along – “you can chamfer down the edges until it looks nice.” Chamfer is a fantastic follow up to Cookson’s debut album Revolt & Resolve, filled with emotive vocals, honest lyrics, and astounding music.
Chamfer is out 5th April 2018. It will be available to purchase at gigs and on Jack Cookson's Bandcamp page.
Behind the scenes shooting the music video for 'Thistles'. Photo by Ryan Sharpe.
Watch the music video for 'Thistles' here.