The best albums are sometimes the ones you can’t put into a specific genre; the ones that sort of spread themselves out across the whole spectrum, dipping each song into a different musical paint pot.
This is ultimately what Tim Lee has done, with his brand new album ‘Hermit and The NotWe’. It’s a personal album from start to finish, documenting some of Lee’s most intimate moments and heartfelt emotions.
‘Introvert’ introduces you to Tim Lee and his life as someone who tends to shy away from the spotlight. Instantly you’re taken in by his very honest lyrical style, that not only makes you admire and adore him, but also allows you to appreciate him as a musician and songwriter. It’s clear from the get go that this album is intentionally lo-fi, a sound that so many attempt to gain but fail to achieve. Tim Lee however, seems to have hit the nail on the head.
This continues in ‘Somehow’, ‘Somewhere’ and ‘Some Days’, three laid back tracks that further your admiration for Lee. Possibly one of the greatest bits of ‘Somehow’ arrives in the first 25 seconds, where a Phil Collins inspired drum beat binds each individual piece of the song together, to form something catchy and easy on the ears. ‘Somewhere’ sees Lee open his heart in such a way, that you feel as though he’s singing only to you. It’s an intimate thing and one that has been captured beautifully in this recording. Similarly, ‘Some Days’, complete with funky bass and casual chord progression, gives Lee the chance to sing the blues, like a man sat with his guitar on the front porch steps.
‘I’m Just Gonna Be Me’ is one of my favourite tracks from the album. It’s a relatively upbeat song with a general positive feel to it, providing a light hearted moment in an album that is quite heavy on your heart. I’d definitely recommend this track for those days where you feel as though you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders – it’s sure to give you that lift you need.
On the opposite end of that, ‘Old Friend Gone’ is yet another mellow and slightly sombre track, with a beautifully simple structure and endearing lyrical content. This laid-back easiness doesn’t last long however, as before you know it you’re in the middle of one of the greatest tracks off the album, ‘Modern Life Will Make You Ill’. Not only does it contain one of the catchiest choruses that I’ve heard in a long time, but it also has a real pop sound to it making it radio friendly and a complete ear worm.
‘Crazies’ begins with a jig-like intro, before forming into something unexpected and random. Complete with kazoo and light hearted sporadic lyrics, ‘Crazies’ makes you feel proud to be exactly who you are. It would sit happily alongside ‘I’m Just Gonna Be Me’ in your ‘pick-me-up playlist’. ‘(Just Another) Tory Boy’ definitely wouldn’t and I think the title explains why. It opens with with Lee repeating the sentence ‘this is an exercise in demoralising of people’ over and over, until eventually morphing into an obviously politically influenced track. Much like all of the tracks on ‘Hermit And The NotWe’, ‘(Just Another) Tory Boy’ is short and sweet and hammers home the passion and anger in such a way, its hard not to sit up and listen.
The final track of the album is the very personal ‘You Saved Me’. In its simplest form, it’s a love song about the special someone in Tim Lee’s life. But if you look past that, you see that this is a thank you; a song that gives Lee a moment to take a step back and observe how far he’s come. I suppose sometimes, in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel, all you really need is a little love.
And that is one of the greatest things about this album. It’s real, it’s personal and it’s got enough emotion in it to last you a lifetime. ‘Hermit And The NotWe’ is a standout album and Tim Lee is my new favourite lyricist. Now all you need to do is get yourself a copy and allow yourself to fall in love.