- We are, We own
- In Circles
- River Women
- Into & Opened
- City Teeth
- By Night
- Winters Hold
- True Faith
Puzzle Muteson is the alter ego of an enigmatic songwriter from the Isle of Wight, rendering his music in a tremulous tenor over a finely spun web of fingerpicked guitar. The southern English island provided unexpected shelter for the shuddering transformation into one-man band Puzzle Muteson; his grade-school music teacher was first to recognise his unrivalled vibrato, and a little while later a parade of chance and coincidence led him to inhabit Puzzle Muteson and start shaping a body of songs.
Theatrics picks up where Puzzle Muteson’s debut, En Garde (2011), left off; the eleven tracks telling an intriguing story with every minute that passes; his talent for heartwrenching melodies and melancholic lyrics shining through like never before.
Where En Garde introduced dream-like strings, Theatrics intertwines melody with mechanism; the album is as much a folk song fairytale as it is an exploration of electronic wonders.
Theatrics features a many musicians at the height of their craft, including labelmates Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurðsson, the latter of which co-produced the album with Boe Weaver.
Poet a.rawlings on Theatrics:
“You are my hole; sometimes I go there.”
Puzzle Muteson’s Theatrics embraces the body as friend. Each song offers intimate discourse and friendship through vulnerability. Deft, surprising instrumental details — a few arcing piano notes near the end of “City Teeth” or the mutable arpeggiator of “We Are We Own” — occur with an embedded maturity that complements Puzzle’s voice. “Bells” foretells departure while “Belly” swells, lets go, sinks, surrenders into heartache, grief, loss. “Into and Opened” opens into introspection: “Is this all you have to give as a man?”
Living with Theatrics, the tongue remembers salt and blood. A meal made long ago, a wound scarred and faded. Consideration. This is not nostalgia, but a way to touch how history founds the present — a gentle reflection cast by Puzzle Muteson’s lyrics. They resonate via existential and relational inconsistency.
In Theatrics’ embrace, possession squares surrender. Such vulnerability reveals strength, and revels.
What the press says
The resulting sound is as tasteful as you might imagine, full of subtle sleepy drones, measured guitar twinkles and simple synthesizer melodies.
In many ways, “Theatrics” is a nocturnal record concealing nocturnal songs, lit by a sole candle, dripping with tender language, possible defeat and lingering regret, sticking to the music and never leaving the body, as if it were a war wound. It is a war wound — an emotional wound opened up by the world.
But above all, “Theatrics” is a new testimony of an artist of rare sensitivity and expressive capability, which in one dimension if possible even more essential and shadowy, as an engineer with extreme care by capable staff, the context is to shine his songs straightforward and clear, that they can speak directly to the heart.
Terry Magson’s follow up record is another masterpiece with each piece really capturing a sense of magic.
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On the web
- Find out more on Puzzle Muteson’s website
- Check out Puzzle Muteson’s page on Facebook
- Follow Puzzle Muteson on Twitter