Friday, 11 January 2008

Ain - Close to Cotton

You are sat in a bar and you see a slight, pale kid with messy hair take the stool with his acoustic guitar. Then he starts to play. First you hear a warm, rich sounding riff emit from his battered guitar, you can hear his foot gently tapping in time to these scattered delta blues notes. By now the people in the bar have stopped talking. Then he starts to sing and no longer do you see a thin framed kid with screwed up hair, you see a man playing music the way he wants to play it. He possesses a soft yet well travelled voice from beyond his years that fills the gaps the guitar leaves as the guitar fills the gaps his voice leaves. Combined, you have music that drifts along in a dream like state, passing on wisdom while at the same time hugging you telling everything will be alright.

If you haven't been already, may I introduce you to Ain. Originally from Kildare in Ireland he moved to London last summer in search of fame and fortune and quickly found a studio to record his music to be unleashed upon the world. After sometime he emerged from the studio with a 6 track mini album called 'Close to Cotton'. He was very kind to punt over some songs that are featured on his recent iTunes release, so lets have a listen.
Sunday - Ain

'Sunday' ambles on like a walk in Spring, the rattle of uncut guitar strings knocking together as the guitar moves to his playing, adds a haunting deserted feel to proceedings. Like a rusting sign blowing in the wind in an old frontier town. The lyrics are suitably coded in a fashion that different people can find different meanings within them, for me I felt they were about the clash of impatience and patience as we wait for things to be how we want them but for the real truth, you'd have to ask him youself.

Next up 'Sold Heaven', a rhythmic country/blues song that wouldn't be out of place around the campfire in the deep south of America, you can almost hear the grasshoppers. This song reminds me of some of Beck's acoustic outings but without that tape recorder sound he often goes for. Instead we are dealt with a crisp
and clear rendition of pure unrepentance accompanied by Ain's ever tapping foot.

Finally 'Inside Arc' finds Ain singing along to the melody of the guitar in a half awake unison of splendor. People say music is the silence between the notes and in this case, its true, as he creates a spacial atmosphere with his preciously chosen melodies and words that he almost whispers into your ear. Neil Young said his music was inspired by the desolation of his surroundings maybe the same can be said for Ain's upbringing in Kildare, either way, it works.

When I first realized Ain was a singer/guitarist, I wondered if he could pull himself away from the pile of men and guitars stacked inside your average listeners music collection crying out for attention. I'm glad to say he has, if it be by purpose or perchance it doesn't really matter. I feel the real proof in the pudding will be in his next release as it will be interesting to see if he can carry on this theme (if he choses to) and achieve the atmosphere he achieved with 'Close to Cotton'.
In the mean time while he creates his creations, we are left with a little gem to nurse and to hide, to keep all to ourselves.

Close to Cotton is available in CD form from the 21st of January via HMV and

You can buy it as a download from iTunes right now if you like.

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