[one_half last=”no”]
West Kirby County Primary

NBHAP Rating: 4,8/5


[one_half last=”yes”]BILL RYDER-JONES
West Kirby County Primary

Release-Date: 06.11.2015
Label: Domino Records

01. Tell Me You Don’t Love Me Watching
02. Two To Birkenhead
03. Let’s Get Away From Here
04. Daniel
05. Put It Down Before You Break It
06. Catherine And Huskisson
07. Wild Roses
08. You Can’t Hide A Light With The Dark
09. Satellites
10. Seabirds




Let’s face it: BILL RYDER-JONES is the most underrated British rock star of our generation. He was the guitarist of The Coral, played one hell of a solo on ARCTIC MONKEYS‘ highly-acclaimed album AM (Fireside), teamed up with Alex Turner to record the beautiful Submarine soundtrack and worked on albums from artists such as SAINT SAVIOUR, WYTCHES and HOOTON TENNIS CLUB. But moreover, the West-Kirbian singer-songwriter/composer/ film composer/guitarist/producer is releasing his third yet stunningly perfect solo album.

RYDER-JONES‘ debuted his solo career with the album If, a huge imaginary orchestral soundtrack to If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller by the Italian author Italo Calvino. His second solo record A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart was released in 2013 and was the first album to feature the artist both as a singer and multi-instrumentalist. Although RYDER-JONES is a musician full of surprises, his new record West Kirby County Primary stylistically attaches to the prior record. But where A Bad Wind might have lacked energy for some listeners, the artist is putting out powerful accorded outros and guitar solos. You Can’t Hide A Light With The Dark is one of the best tracks on the album- both lyrically and musically. The song stars off with a groovy guitar-intro and mellows into aching words: ‘The lights on in your backroom/ are you with him are you with him/ the lights off and it’s darkness/ you’re so heartless.’

Bill Ryder-Jones - Photo by Rachel King

Photo by Rachel King

BILL RYDER-JONES, who’s been speaking out about the mental health issues he suffered from, sings once more about his imagery of people and places. In the haunting song Daniel he sings about the loss of his brother through the eyes of his parents. While his his nightshifting neighbor in Catherine and Huskinson will be ‘fucking fuming’ at the noise he’ll be making, RYDER-JONES will be ‘telling stories into beautiful truth’ in Wild Roses. Satellites captures the tension of the whole album in just 5:50 minutes. The atmosphere is musically somewhere between powerful electric guitar intros and acoustic guitar accords, while the lyrics are building an melancholic and haunting world of their own. The closing tune Seabirds is a beautiful ode to his hometown West Kirby and its inhabitants: ‘The seabirds are circling, they seem to follow, too’.

Recorded in his mum’s house, West Kirby County Primary is a beautiful melancholic and energetic hymn, split into ten different tracks. Musically and lyrically BRJ offers a lot that is lacking in Britain’s current music scene. He’s not just aware how to properly play several instruments or how to produce. What makes BILL RYDER-JONES and his music unique and outstanding is especially the power to go forward and not just relive the good old days. It’s exactly like he sings in Seabirds: ‘I don’t care where you’ve been before/but where you’re going to’. Let’s hope that his unusual support slot for the MUMFORD AND SONS‘ European tour next year will open the gates for a wider audience. If there’s one artist who can lead the conservative British guitar rock and indie scene out of its dead end, it’s this fella from West Kirby. All hail BRJ!

Bill Ryder-Jones’ album ’West Kirby Primary County’ is a beautiful imagery of people and places. With his third album Ryder-Jones proves once again, that he’s one of the most talented and ambitious songwriters in Britain’s contemporary music scene.