A distinctive vocal and approach to songwriting have set Tilman Hartley apart on new album ‘To Basics’. He’s been compared with the likes of Manic Street Preachers, understandable when listening to album opener ‘Things Go Wrong’, but his real strength lies with a toungue in cheek approach welcome in an often staid music industry.
Album highlight ‘Belle Du Jour’ typifies this, which tells the blunt story of a young girl paying for her Cancer research PhD by selling her body, and it’s a thread that runs throughout. Some reviews have painted some of Hartley’s more ramshackle tracks as weaknesses, but it’s hard to dislike an artist who seems to genuinely love making music regardless of what people might think of it.
The independent feel and relaxed approach are quite refreshing, and though it might wear thin if not slickened for the next release, it does well enough for this one. Here’s to what happens next.