Second Hand Poet:
Second Hand Poet is the moniker of Jamie- a Surrey-based musician sure to make huge waves very soon. The music scene around Surrey and London is producing some notable and exciting prospects for 2014, and Second Hand Poet ranks alongside them. Jamie’s acoustic tales have captured many hearts and minds, and will continue to win support throughout the coming years.
I experienced the magic of Second Hand Poet through the appropriately-named Bedroom Acoustics (I reviewed one of its tracks, Little Sun: https://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/second-hand-poet-little-sun-track-review/). That E.P. demonstrated a sound that was sparse and captivating. There was no clutter or over-production: the songs came through clean and pure, and you could picture yourself, sitting in the room with him. It was a live E.P. that layid down the foundations that have been firmly built around. Our hero has since gone onto play The Boileroom (in Guildford) (http://secondhandpoet.bandcamp.com/album/boileroom-radio-live-session), performed at acoustic nights throughout London, as well as being interviewed for Boileroom Radio. A local folklore and legend had been laid down, and the personal themes and poems displayed a sensitive heart with a resilient and optimistic soul. Within the Bedroom Acoustics E.P. was a haunting sound characteristic of Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, and there was a flavour of the ’70s, married to a modern-day coda and ambition. The voice that radiated from the songs was a unique and unheard-of instrument, and earmarked Second Hand Poet as an original voice (in a homogenised scene). Second Hand Poet has recently played Oxjam in Clapham (supporting a fight against poverty), as well as playing shows around London and Surrey. There are more tantalising dates to come, but the main focus is the debut album.
In an appropriately homemade fashion, Second Hand Poet is making the album ‘D.I.Y’: there are no shiny gimmicks or needless over-done polish: the album will pick up where the (Bedroom Acoustics) E.P. left off and give our young hero a full-length disc to display his craft. The 12-track L.P. will be debuted in December, and will promise much to love: the same haunting and breezy mix of the E.P., as well as a whole host of fascinating tales of modern and personal life. Cards are being kept close to Jamie’s chest, as the details and touches are still be added and amended. The track Lost At Sea is a glimpse of what to expect. Its intro is a cacophony of flowing beauty; it bounces and flows. It brings to mind Nick Drake (circa Bryter Layter)-cum-Think Tank Blur. Romantic interplay between acoustic guitar and piano sets hairs on end, and images where “fish dance” are scored by a far-off and effecting vocal performance. There is blood on the rock; the sea crashes and home seems far away. The song is based around a dislocated tale: a wife sitting at home not knowing whether her husband (serving in the navy) is alive or dead. You can hear the ache and anxiety in the vocals; the sonic backing adds chills and beauty to each word. Second Hand Poet’s vocals is a symphony of drama and tenderness: there is no need for histrionics as the plaintive and direct delivery strikes hard. It is the combination of effecting vocals, backed by beautiful finger-picking and delicate piano, that makes the song such a triumph.
Based on the evidence of Lost At Sea- and knowing what I have witnessed during Bedroom Acoustics- there will be some much-anticipated talk and excitement when the debut album arrives. Second Hand Poet has been making impressions on the local scene and reaching out to as many people as possible, and the following year will see a lot more from the bright young talent. In a generation and decade where there are few genuine and worthy talent out there, Second Hand Poet is deserving of a wide audience and considered ear. Check out what is already on the official BandCamp page (http://secondhandpoet.bandcamp.com/track/heaven-knows), and follow Second Hand Poet on Twitter (https://twitter.com/SecondHandPoet); as a bedroom-dreamt, modern-day acoustic star is preparing an L.P. (and future) that promises much rewards…
And that’s a first hand guarantee!