Fabian Holland, when you hear this album, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a seasoned professional who has been playing the circuit for years, however you would be wrong! It is hard to believe that this is his first album such is its quality, but its true Fabian has just released his debut album and what an album this is. Produced by Mark Hutchinson who has also produced albums for Spiers and Boden, this is a talented Singer-songwriter who also has a gift for playing the guitar and if that wasn’t enough he also has a natural vocal technique ideally suited to this genre of the folk, roots and blues music. Surely Fabian has to be the discovery of 2013
The album consists of some of Fabians own songs mixed in with those from other writers all performed to a simple guitar backing sound sometimes joined by a fiddle, each song though is well produced allowing the listener really appreciate its quality. Fabian is not afraid to offer the listener something new that they may not have heard before, and these lesser known examples are all delivered with an intensity that holds the listeners attention.
It’s hard to pick out a particular stand out track on this album as there are so many however ‘Hard Times Killing Floor Blues’ is both subtle and hauntingly, certainly performed live I am sure it would leave he audience in stunned silence. Another track worthy of note is “Like Father Like Son” a melancholic feel tale of the inevitable ageing process and the way that we all start to resemble our parents in some way or other It’s done with obvious affection and just a hint of the realisation maybe turning into your father is actually not a bad thing after all.
Fabian displays his well-honed and fluent guitar style and uses this to great effect. The track “Banks of the Dee” is another lament of an ageing miner unable to get work as, “His hair has turned grey” maybe a tale all too familiar in recent years.
Fabian is a great song storey teller his rendition of “Dr Prince” is a great example of this, a song that tells the story of an eccentric Welshman who you could say is the father of modern day cremation
Both the guitar and vocals in this album have been recorded at the same time and producing a very real and immediate sound as if Fabian is there live in front of you. A refreshing approached from some of the over produced studio albums using electronic trickery.
With a smooth voice and great lyrics this all round musical talent is surely a name to watch for in 2013. This is an excellent album, Fabian is not just good he is exceptional and a rare talent.
You can find out more information on Fabian Holland by visiting http://www.fabianholland.com/
Review by Andy Weller