Modern British troubadour Teddy Thompson describes his own particular songwriting style simply as "a pretty melody with a twist." For the son of famed Brit folk legends Richard and Linda Thompson, that twist can be any number of things, from some ironically amusing lyrical turn or heartfelt emotional outpouring, a blend of hues and shades layered with an impressionist's eye (and ear). Nuanced expression, exquisite melodies and the juxtaposition of disparate musical moods have been the trademarks of Thompson's three uniformly excellent albums and his new Bella, arriving February 8 via Verve, is no exception. "I felt, as I’ve developed some kind of style, that what I had to offer, that what came naturally, was my sense of humor, my sensibility," observes Thompson. "It’s very English, very sarcastic, self-deprecating. In one way, that’s just how my songs come out; in another way, that’s my favorite style."
For Bella, Thompson worked with veteran producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Regina Spektor) to craft an album that is his most richly detailed yet, stark pop and rock melodies fleshed out with, he says, "the lushness and beauty I was going for." Armed with Kahne's just-left-of-mainstream signature style, songs like "Looking for a Girl" (with some stinging guitar lines courtesy his famous dad) and "I Feel" just feel right, smart and substantial without forcing a false note or word. With a voice that faintly recalls Roy Orbison's soaring tenor, the New York-based songwriter moves from 60's pop ("Tell Me What You Want" with Jenni Muldaur, "Take Me Back Again") to gorgeously melodic modern folk/rock ("The Next One", "Home") with confidence.
Teddy Thompson - "Looking for a Girl" (from the album Bella)
Photo Credit: Beth Herzhaft