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Gavin Osborn – Come On Folks, Settle Down

If you like indie-pop, you should know Gavin Osborn. His lovely and lovingly detailed story-songs are both amusing and poignant, brimming with joy and wonder. He focuses on the little things, the stuff you might’ve missed, but that when you taken the time to notice, realize it’s these components, camouflaged by the concerns of the world, that are what life is made up of and what make life so wonderful.  And all this clothed in catchy melodies ensuring both words and music will be stuck in your head for days.item

Opener ‘While You’re Up’ takes us through the ritual of after-dinner tea in order to highlight why his wife is “the greatest thing there is”. This routine setting, Gavin’s “favourite part of the day”, opens up into so much more, providing room for meditations on love and sacrifice. Light meditations of course, and with an amusing denouement.  This flows into ‘That’s How I Know’, an ode to the secret pockets of preciousness that lovers spontaneously create.  A beautiful song, warm and close, the second “your love” of the chorus conveying all the magic inherent in these moments. Next up, the double entendre of ‘An Orchestrated Break Up’ is a highlight of the album. The story of a scripted separation, this song tackles the uncomfortable situation songwriters occasionally find themselves in when inspiration just isn’t striking. Manipulating emotions in order to mine them for your art is murky territory indeed. Thankfully this song has a pleasing resolution (and a pleasing resolution in that resolution), Osborn’s voice full of feeling at his wife’s return.

‘Albert Went Out To See Rock Bands’ is a fine example of how well Gavin Osborn can tell a tale. It takes almost a minute and a half to get the 77-year-old hero of the story from his bedroom down the stairs and out the door to the action. This has nothing to do with age but instead the minutely detailed journey captures all the excitement of what the night has to offer, knowing that these particulars are vital components of the adventure and its appreciation. The song, though very amusing, also communicates that brilliant feeling of doing something you love, the unsuspected delights of where music can bring you, and how wonderful it is to be with someone who understands these things (even if you think they don’t even know).  The bass and vocal rock/blues of ‘Sides Of The Bed’ is a departure bordering on the ridiculous, but the overall sentiment that switching up where you sleep keeps things interesting is touching. ‘Such A Cheeky Rascal’ pays tribute to an old van, memories recounted with care and playfulness over a very pretty chord progression. ‘Dancing With His Dad’ is more upbeat, once again taking us step-by-step through a scenario both funny and moving, jumping off from there to try and capture all the thoughts this sight inspires.

‘Brian Cox’ features a fantastic pop chord sequence and is arguably the catchiest and funniest song on the record, getting a lot of mileage out of unexpectedly seeing “the bloke from D:Ream” on TV one night. ‘Over Thirty’ will resonate with anyone of a certain age. Album closer, ‘The World Is At Your Feet, Little Man’, is another highlight. Sung to his newborn son (Humphrey Reginald, to whom the record is dedicated) this lovely song brings a tear to my eye every time I stop to fully take in what he’s singing about – the wonder of being alive with its infinite possibility and the enormity of this being laid out before one for the first time.  Told with the Gavin’s characteristic humour and depth of feeling, it sums up the joy of life and the promise of hope for more that is present in all these songs.

[Rating: 4]

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.