Secret Meeting score: 80
by Philip Moss
Jeremy Tuplin’s profile image on Twitter sees perched in front of a row of neon lights while holding a bunch of pink roses. And it’s photograph that somehow perfectly sums up the juxtaposition of contemporary storytelling, and classic romanticism/social observation, that runs throughout his sophomore record, Pink Mirror.
Vocally, Tupelin sits somewhere between Bill Callahan and County Line Runner’s Adam Day- his baritone on Can We Be Strangers is so poignant, it feels like whatever pain caused him to pen the song has somehow been catapulted into your own heart. But there’s much more to the Somerset native than his voice – no matter how captivating it is. Backed by a merry band of friends – including his brother, Young Jimmy Tuplin – the opener moves from a single electric guitar backing, with the odd blot of bass, into an emotional spider’s web of reverb.
Bad Lover evokes Ezra Furman’s Perpetual Motion People – its doo-wop backing vocals underpins yet another reflective anecdote – ‘How did it come to this? I’ve been retracting my steps and I think I got the gist!’ And somehow, despite the track seemingly crying out for a soaring harmony through the chorus, Tupelo’s voice makes it work.
Frankenstein’s percussive shuffle makes its throwaway refrain – ‘Get back, Frank, get back Frank, get back Frank!’ – an ear worm primed and ready to bury itself. While at six minutes, the LPs longest cut, Humans, is perhaps its most forthright – ‘Humans, I love you, despite my seemingly best intentions not to’ – again recalling Mr Callahan, but this time through the tongue-in-cheek tone.
Pink Mirror is a perfect example of the fine work that independent artists in the UK are producing at the moment – this one, however, proves that Jeremy Tuplin is definitely ready to be embraced by a bigger audience.
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