John Myrtle – Myrtle Soup Album Review

Sad Club Records – 2021

Home-spun and home-made is the mood that John Myrtle captures on his debut mini-album Myrtle Soup. Written and recorded over various lockdowns, Myrtle set about to capture the feeling of longing and loneliness through tales of actors in love and human-detesting spiders. The name of the album came from the warmth and comfort brings about, and the warmth of this album is its greatest asset.

Paying homage to the recording techniques of the 60’s and 70’s that he embodies through his songwriting, Myrtle recorded the album on his tape machine at home. And thanks to the natural vibrance that this sound brings Myrtle is able to make his songs feel utterly timeless. His use of sound design on the instrumentals “On The Hob” and “Soups Up” is captivating in its simplicity. The dancing synth melodies and fluttering vocals capture the tender glow of an evening spent inside.

The feeling of love is one that’s wrapped around this album with a tight bow. But more often than not Myrtle is lost in self doubt, questioning whether what he’s feeling to be genuine on the sunshine tinted “How Can You Tell If You Love Her?”. Although the chords may be bright there’s an underlying melancholy within the lyrics, putting on a fa├žade to hide his truth. This sense of subtle sadness also appears on “Remember Holly Park” as Myrtle desperately grasps on to that last breaking string of love as he tries to bring back the memories of good times gone by.

The sound that Myrtle distills on this album is one he’s playing with since his early EP days. In our interview he said that he was inspired by 90’s Britpop, namely The La’s. And you can hear the flowing harmonies and glittering guitar of Lee Mavers and co throughout “Just Can’t Seem To Say Goodbye”. But Myrtle doesn’t just replicate this sound, he embodies whilst showcasing his ultimately likeable and jovial personality throughout.

At just under 30 minutes this mini-album is the perfect accompaniment to making you dinner in the evening. Offering a comforting and all-round joyous listen that grows with each and every listen, leaving you to bask in its radiance.

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