Album Review: Charley Bickers - Our Frail Hearts ✭✭✭✭

Charley Bickers
Our Frail Hearts

Review by Christina Benneworth

Charley Bickers has his released debut album Our Frail Hearts via Bandcamp, where simply you pay what you like for the album. It documents the Brighton based singer-songwriter’s journey through the hardest and happiest times of the past five years of his life. What has been produced is nine intimate, reflective and powerful album.

Speaking about the album, Charley explained:
“The songs have been built up over a sustained period time without any pressure of deadline or outside influence. It was not some grand concept album just something that has grown quietly by itself and steered towards its own completion. It was only when I finished what was to become the title track of the album ‘Our Frail Hearts’ that the thought occurred to me that I might finally have a finished record. For me personally it is an album of memories; some of them new, some of them old, some of them the happiest I can recall and others heartbreakingly sad. It represents the key moments and events of the past five years of my life, like a musical diary of sorts and one that it feels a little strange to share but I hope you will enjoy it”.

The title track ‘Our Frail Hearts’ is an incredibly heartfelt song, the lyrics are uniquely beautiful. The vocals from Charley are not forced, like so many other artists they try and force emotion which can sometimes come across as fake, normally when the song hasn’t been written by them and isn’t from an emotion in their own life. You don’t get this at all from Charley as all the songs are written by him.

Charley's forthcoming debut features a host of musicians namely; Nick McCabe and Si Jones from The Verve, Fyfe Dangerfield, Jonny Scaffidi from Saint Saviour and Davide Rossi, member of Goldfrapp and string arranger for Coldplay.

My Goodbye’ is a heartfelt and mellow number, obviously a song personal to him. He originally planned to scrap it from the album, but he finally decided to keep it firmly within the finished piece. Lyrically it is a very sad song, but with the guitars and harmonies it doesn’t make it as sad a maybe it should be.

One of my favourite tracks on the album is actually the last song ‘Soldiers and Sirens’, it’s completely scraped back to the basics, with the raw emotion from the vocals coming through instead of only hearing the music. The only instruments that were used were; guitar, piano, cello and electric guitar. Such a peaceful song to sit back, relax and listen to.

It’s a very calming album to listen to; Charley has such a relaxing and unique voice. Head over to the website to check it out.