By: James Wilkinson
9 October, 2017, 18:00
Photo: Carolin Weinkopf
I first listened to ‘I Can See Totterdown’ on a train in Northumberland. It was late in the afternoon on a perfect autumn day, the landscape was basked in a wonderful amber glow that can only be found this time of year. Jamie Cruickshank’s debut offering is infused with that same warmth and incandescence.
Jamie doesn’t land all glowing and box fresh, he has been a quietly integral part of the Bristol scene for a while and has quite a pedigree. With this release Jamie is coming out of hibernation, stretching and finding strength after dark times.
While sharing heritage with classic folk from the likes of Fairport and Nick Drake, with its elegant restraint, non linear structure and underpinning layers of strings and ethereal backing vocals from Anna Bailward ‘I can see…’ also brings to mind the modern troubadours of Phosphorescent, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and our very own Oliver Wilde.
Initially you can struggle to latch onto Jamie’s vocals, then by the third spin you realise that ‘I Can See Totterdown’ should be taken as a whole and simply immerse yourself with it. The stirring outro is a slight mid-step as it lends feel of the track being grasped out of an album, and you don’t have that context. That tiny niggle aside ‘I Can See Totterdown’ is a beguiling introduction to a deliciously charming artist, and we should all wait eagerly for the promised forthcoming EP.