Bill Ryder-Jones 'West Kirby County Primary' review

Ben Smith reviews Bill-Ryder Jones third solo album - a masterfully crafted piece that further outs his song-writing prowess.

Ben Smith

Last updated: 10th Nov 2015.
Originally published: 6th Nov 2015

Image: Bill Ryder-Jones

It's not hard to imagine Bill scribbling lyrics into his notepad with an acoustic guitar on his lap when laying the foundations to this album in his childhood family home.

That's where his third album was initially recorded before being swept of to Liverpool's infamous Parr St Street studios, and in that it's a kind of testament to where Bill's roots remain and the journey he has undertook.

Formerly the youngest member of indie outfit The Coral, Bill still resides on Merseyside, and it ultimately reflects in his album. 'Two To Birkenhead' is most explicit of that, a track that leaps out of the blocks before simmering to tepid cymbal brushes and re-engaging with an anxious melody.

'Catharine and Huskisson' is typical of the piano propelled melodies that scale the album, the song humorously scopes further insight into life on the Mersey satellite by proclaiming night-shift worker Jill from next door will be "fucking fuming" at being woken up. 

It's not all light heartedness though, 'Daniel' speaks about losing losing a child and references his own struggles. It's a sobering and poignant listen, but more so comforting in that Bill has found strength and implemented it into his music.

He croons the hook, "Daniel belongs to the ocean" and signs off with "why don't you take the pill/you might not feel so ill/let's make it easy for you Bill".  

What's apparent through listening is that while it's an incredible introspective and raw listen listen, Bill has managed magnificently to work the softer parameters of pop-rock with a meticulously arranged album that further outs him as a marvelled story teller.  

Read: Bill Ryder-Jones interview: Liverpool is a hell of a lot more progressive




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