smallthoughts – (lovesong) -review and interview

Y’know sometimes you come across what at first feels like a small tune, but you quickly realise it has a large heart. smallthoughts has created a hymn of beauty to love with his debut tune (lovesong).   

Joe Mitchell is smallthoughts, a new musical project from West Yorkshire. Joe explained: “I’ve been in bands for so many years now (and still am) but have always wanted to give my own thing a go. I write, perform and produce all my songs myself in my bedroom. I’m also half of Jellyfish in Space”.

In structure the tune has a bouncy electronic landscape, and Joe’s vocals literally feel like a hymn carefully overlaid over the top. As a reluctant Welsh Chapel child, I recall going to church services, not singing, not believing, but enjoying hearing the rolls of voices float over me. I get the same reassuring feeling here. While the vocals might feel a little Ian Curtis (Joy Division), or perhaps Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) dark in vibe, they work perfectly with the uplifting style of the tune, and indeed the positive theme of (lovesong) itself. Rather than dark, the end feel is the heartfelt serious of a believer.

I’m a massive fan of the thoughtful vibes in Jellyfish In Space, and while the tempo in (lovesong) is more upbeat than the Jellyfish tunes so far, if you like that Jellyfish slightly understated, shoegazy type sound, then this smallthoughts tune will also hit your auditory ossicles in a most pleasing way.

The song itself is about something truly wonderful in life that can sometimes fall your way, but which isn’t that often highlighted, perhaps because you can’t just make it happen. As Joe explains: “(lovesong) is about the aspect of modern culture which I feel is starting to fade, or at least from my perspective, it’s about that excitement to grow old with someone who makes you feel special. I related the lyrics to my granny and grandad, who had a relationship of just complete dependence and companionship, they were literally everything to each other”.  

In the song, I certainly pick up something from the heyday of the 1980’s electronic era. The end of the tune builds up with fuller sounds and a superb piece of rock guitar to close.

Joe tells me: My musical influences are a bit of a mess, from 80s new wave (Human League, Talk Talk, Duran Duran) all the way to more experimental modern stuff (King Krule, Salvia Palth, Black Country New Road).

In terms of (lovesong) and its impact, Joe’s own comment tells the tale far better than I could: “Any music that makes me feel something, or makes me picture someone or something, or anything like that, is usually a winner for me. Making music that can do this for myself and other people is essentially the end goal”.

Chris R

* Images are taken from the artist’s social media

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