â€˜Fireplaceâ€™ is the debut album from The Boy Who Trapped The Sun. Beguiling, idiosyncratic alt-folk, â€˜Fireplaceâ€™ is full of strange, sometimes sinister stories, equally inspired by home, Hemingway, ghosts and vicious ex-girlfriends.
The Boy Who Trapped The Sun is 25 year-old Colin MacLeod – the â€˜Boy Whoâ€™ moniker, he says, â€œfeels bigger and less lonelyâ€ – from the Isle of Lewis, a windswept outcrop of Scotlandâ€™s Outer Hebrides (population 19,000).
In Lewisâ€™s thriving local music scene MacLeod became something of a star with his teenage band Sign Red â€“ a thrash-y agit-punk band inspired by X-Factor debunkers Rage Against The Machine. Later MacLeod had an epiphany after listening to Dylanâ€™s â€˜Masters Of War,â€™ realising music did not necessarily have to be loud to be powerful.
After jobs on Lewis on an oil delivery lorry and teaching salmon fishing, The Boy eventually made his way to London, intent on becoming a solo artist.
With publishing and recording deals duly in place so emerged â€˜Fireplaceâ€™, with MacLeod playing all the instruments bar the strings himself. Hazy opener â€˜Goldenâ€™ sets the scene, with MacLeod gently drawing the listener into his world. Debut single â€˜Katyâ€™ (released June 28th) is more upbeat, a catchy paean to avoiding commitment.
Title track â€˜Fireplaceâ€™ was written when MacLeod was housebound for four days as a fierce storm battered Lewis, while the loose, bluesy â€˜Homeâ€™ was written in London, about being displaced in the big city – â€œThis cityâ€™s not a home, but itâ€™s somewhere to get lost.â€
â€˜Walking In The Darkâ€™ is an achingly pretty piano-led track, while the waltz-y, wry â€˜Dreaming Like A Foolâ€™ is the tale of ex-girlfriend who tried to stab MacLeod. â€œLately it feels like weâ€™re drifting apart,â€ he sings. â€œIt could be because youâ€™re insane.â€
Riding on a dream-like descending riff â€˜Copper Downâ€™ features exquisite harmonies and a deft, mid-song change of pace.
The final track is the haunting, beautifully arranged â€˜Antique Cobwebâ€™. There follows the hidden spoken-word outro â€˜Poemâ€™, its second verse in Gaelic, wonderfully evocative of the Isle of Lewis and the sea that defines it. â€˜Fireplaceâ€™ is a beautifully realised debut from an authentic new talent. Listen again and again.
The Boy Who Trapped The Sun live:
May 1st Live @ Leeds Festival
May 5th Old Queens Head, London
May 15th Great Escape, Brighton
UK tour with Lissie and Kassidy:
May 23rd Aberdeen Warehouse
May 25th Dundee Doghouse
May 26th Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
May 27th Greenock Ricos
May 28th Glasgow Oran Mor
May 29th Belfast Speakeasy
May 30th May Dublin Whelans
June 1st Birmingham Academy 2
June 2nd London Water Rats
June 3rd Manchester Night & Day
June 4th Bristol Cooler
June 5th Leeds Brudenell
June 18th Insider Festival, Aviemore
July 10th T In The Park
July 18th Larmer Tree Festival
July 23rd Secret Garden Party
July 30th/31st Camp Bestival
Aug 6th Belladrum Festival
Aug 7th Newquay Boardmasters
Aug 8th Big Chill
Sept 11th Bestival