- I Was Once A Horse
- A Tightrope Dance
- Water Rising
- En Garde
- Alphabet Eyes
- Perspex Disguise
- Flamingo Head
- 11. BONUS TRACK: Brittle Beak
Bedroom Community broadens the scope with En Garde by Puzzle Muteson, a mysterious, intimate record by a fearless songwriter and lyricist from the windswept Isle of Wight.
Arranged and produced by collaborators and labelmates Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurðsson, En Garde is a strange, comforting and alarmingly personal record. Driven, spare lyrics are hoisted high by vocals of steady, sturdy tremble. Each tune swells with plush guitar pluck in a sea of orchestration and electronics. Recorded in the Greenhouse Studios in Iceland, the album collects Puzzle Muteson’s odd and beautiful stories - about love and horses; rust and polar bears; heartbreak and birds.
Puzzle’s songs are curious sounds from a troubled heart and his lyrics are urgent and open, striking a note with their vulnerable memories. “I Was Once A Horse” is an unforgettable song about nostalgia. The first single and title track, “En Garde”, pits Puzzle’s longing against waves of dense strings and jagged rhythm, while “Perspex Disguise” sets his naked, translucent vocals against shimmering piano that refracts off epic chords. In “Flamingo Head” he sings; “I left your house. You let me. I left you girl. Ugly”, buffeted by guitar and distant murmurs. “Not a single thing could take this magical sight. I’ll find you still”, he sings in “Medusa”, the story of a man tracking down a lost love.
En Garde takes an unexpected and unique voice and elevates it out of any easily discernible pocket. Puzzle Muteson could be “folk” or something completely different - instead he’s an intense stranger from the Isle of Wight - at once both familiar and unfamiliar. En Garde heralds a haunting and essential new voice, beautiful, earned and yearning.
What the press says
“His spare, direct lyrics could rend any heart in two.”
“His quavering voice sings spectral poetry over delicately picked strings…”
With Muteson’s quavering tenor aided by the delicate production of Sigurðsson, En Garde plays out a spellbinding and hauntingly evocative fairytale of emotions of one man’s imagination.
It’s really a tremendously warm and uplifting listen, blessed with just divine orchestration from Muhly, and recommended to lovers of timeless songcraft everywhere.
With delicate verse, poignant string arrangements and soft piano solos, the music of Puzzle Muteson explores one single man’s fears and feelings in an honest and affecting manner.
If you appreciate a timid acoustic tranquility depicted by a frail-sounding songster, this is definitely a compelling release
There is plenty to enjoy and marvel at on Puzzle Muteson’s debut full-length
En Garde is another essential work from the always interesting Bedroom Community
The poignancy of this record has the ability to move and reduce many to tears of sheer emotion.
It’s subtle, it’s an ambient floating cloud drifting from your viewpoint ever so slowly, it is understatingly beautiful and it swells around you until the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
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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