It's been 10 years since the English pianist, songwriter and singer Andy Fleet released his debut album "The Night Falls Fast". Then together with the American trumpeter Andre Canniere, “Takin’ Aim” followed in 2013. Now the former music teacher presents his third studio album, which is named "The Sleepless Kind". The title already says it all. An atmospheric and thoughtful set of nine songs is presented here, which are as subtle as they are sophisticated because they neither need exuberant opulence for attention nor want to act as harmless background music.
Together with his accompanying musicians Zane Maertens on bass and Joe Evans on drums as well as being supported by Andre Canniere as mentioned above, Mr. Fleet wonderfully combines blues, jazz, rock and also classical influences to create the typically eclectic and melancholic sound.
The album, which can be described as a concept album in which the individual tracks are not isolated but related in their thematic relationship to the other parts of the album, is an ode to the night. After all, who doesn't know those nights when you can't sleep because your thoughts drift here and there or spin in circles and you are almost overwhelmed by your emotions and memories and then, at some point, all the sheep are numbered, you stand tired at the window and look over the sleeping city, as the beautifully painted owl does on the cover of "The Sleepless Kind" designed by Alban Low.
Like a book, the album has a prologue and an epilogue, represented by the two-part title song. In the first few minutes, this lush, dark track with its sluggish rhythm, haunting melody and creeping trumpet captivates me. That gives you goose bumps. It is simple and moving, like a gem that wants to be nothing more than a gem and also lives up to this intention.
On "The Sleepless Kind", Mr. Fleet tells personal, emotional and thoughtful yet optimistic stories in sensitive and introspective lyrics. Dense, authentic and creating a pull that you cannot and will not escape. They are like little lights in the dark night sky that touch the soul and open the heart. In addition to the wonderful title track, one of my favourites is "All Broke Out With The Blues" in which the musicians interact so subtly and with dedication in the midst of the colour of melancholy. Also the heart-moving "Stolen Years", which comes from the heart, deep thoughtfulness to a deceased friend or to John Lennon.
Mr. Fleet is also inspired by musicians as diverse as Tom Waits, Allen Touissaint, Randy Newman and Donald Fagen. And right here you can get in the mood with the official video of "The Sleepless Kind".