We don't know where the Isle of Lewis is -- nor do we have a clue about The Outer Hebrides, the area of Scotland where Lewis is located. We promise to check an atlas at some point. But we do know that Lewis is also the far-flung home to Colin MacLeod, aka The Boy Who Trapped the Sun, a 25-year-old singer/songwriter who is releasing his soft-spoken, sumptuous debut album Fireplace July 15 (U.K. only for now). The spacious, raw seaside surroundings permeate MacLeod's music, a brisk, inviting jangle of Anglo folk/rock that sits easily between the strummed bluster of Mumford and Sons, the influential Nick Drake/John Martyn spare folk writing and the more introspective side of the fine Ed Harcourt (who co-wrote three tracks on Fireplace).
"The city’s not a home/but it’s somewhere to get lost", MacLeod sings in the song "Home", a revealing song of his small town upbringing up against his new urban London dwelling. Amidst a nimble bassline jaunt, acoustic guitar bed and insistant snare beat, MacLeod double-tracked vocals evoke dark mystery as a counterpoint to the gentle lope of the melody -- an interesting mix of shadows and sun (video after the jump). We also like the propelled toe-tapping gait of the album's title track, a song that grows even more interesting with every new line and melodic twist, a well-chosen piano line midway adding just the ideal embellishment. Understated but with a distinctive presence that reveals itself slowly from song to song, we think Fireplace sheds both glowing heat and flickering light. Recommended.
The Boy Who Trapped the Sun - "Fireplace" (from the album Fireplace)
The Boy Who Trapped the Sun - "Home" (from the album Fireplace)