Eugene Twist. The Boy Who had Everything.

A debut album from a Glasgow singer and songwriter is something that happens almost every week these days. It’s been some time however since we’ve heard anything as unique and well crafted as this offering from Eugene Twist. Everything from the Dickensian name to the packaging and the production of the music reeks of quality and then there’s the music. A sumptuous collection of songs that are almost orchestral in their delivery with a hint of the chanson stylings of the late Jacques Brel as delivered by Scott Walker. A touch misleading perhaps as Twist doesn’t actually sound like Brel (or Walker) but the drama, the big occasion, the sweeping vistas are all here. You might want to call it baroque pop.
The album opens with a frenzied sax driven New York noire jazz sound with Latin undertones on If There’s Love Where I’m Going. A cracking start where Twist’s boho lyrics could easily be steaming from underground grates in NY or Paris, nighttime subterranean poetry reaching for air. The song is delivered with the force of a hurricane. Unfortunately the other songs don’t approach the sheer gusto of the opener but they all have their moments. Twist writes well in a surrealistic style, half Breton, half Lear and delivers his lyrics with a sardonic air, able to sound tender or tough. His ballads such as Tough Act To Follow and Actress On A Mattress are dreamlike swoons with delicate pillowings of guitars and keyboards on a somnambulistic outing. The tittle song starts off with this shimmering sense before a crashing guitar breaks in the song left turns into a Bad Seeds fantasy. It’s Down To You has a slight touch of Dylan with its whirling organ sound while Gauguin is a soaring pop song that has hooks aplenty and a sixties jet sound that is simply fabulous.
A multi layered album in its lyrics and instrumentation this repays repeated listens and grows each time and presents its author as a major talent. He could be huge, in the meantime however he’s still gigging around Glasgow so perhaps it would be well to catch him soon.

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