[sic] Magazine

The April Seven – Pop Tarkovsky

The April Seven is a new project founded by two lead singers, Patrick Fitzgerald and Paul Frederick. Patrick is well known around this parish for being the bass and voice of Kitchens of Distinction while Paul fronted indie band The Family Cat. The two had got to know each other while touring and a friendship came out of that. I believe that this is the first time they have collaborated.

The remit, as the title suggests, is to make a record together that celebrates both men’s love of pop music. It’s a good indicator, but as we will come onto shortly, this is a bit wider than just the pop music you might imagine from the radio. The musical pallet on Pop Tarkovsky is broader, taking in hints of classical, Broadway, baroque and Bowie. Knowing Patrick a bit better than Paul, I am aware of his tastes and influences. These became most apparent during his work as Stephen Hero. Since his post-Kitchens work was far and away less reliant on guitar effects and often piano driven, the songwriting really came to the fore. Kitchens had great songs of course, buried beneath swathes of beautiful guitars. Since then, the songs have muscled their way to the front screaming ‘look at me’. Check out ’58th Star’, or the whole of the Apparition in the Woods album. (Editor’s note: Of course, Kitchens Of Distinction also came back with Folly in 2013)

In The April Seven Patrick steps away from the mic to let Paul handle lead duties. Patrick has written and arranged the music on Pop Tarkovsky. Paul wrote the lyrics. The results are very nice. As you might imagine, the songwriting is very strong. Catchy, earworm melodies abound often accompanied by a slight sense of eeriness and menace. Jump immediately to ‘How The Satellite’ for a sense of what I mean. The whole album has a twilight feel, like a dusk walk through a fairground. I’m put in mind of Prefab Sprout and, above all others, The Divine Comedy. Paul Fredrick’s dusky theatrics come close to Neil Hannon territory on more than one occasion here. Fitzgerald’s music was always similarly well informed.

Paddy McAloon and Neil Hannon. Can you get higher praise? Pop Tarkovsky is probably far too classy to make a wide mark in today’s obnoxious industry. No matter. You’re reading this. You’re in on the secret. Go get it.

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