The People The Poet

The People The Poet are a quartet from Cardiff, Wales who rose from the ashes of Tiger Please in 2012. Leon Stanford vocals, Tyla Campbell guitar, Pete Mills bass and drummer Lewis Roswell have already released one album, “The Narrator” and an EP “Paradise Closed” which have drawn comparisons in some quarters to Bruce Springsteen and Counting Crows. What we have now is their latest offering, “A Short Obsession With Time”, an exercise in emotive song-writing with an emphasis on melody, harmony and personal lyrical content all wrapped up in soaring, anthemic arrangements.

The album gets off to a strong start with a delayed guitar motif by Tyla and a yearning vocal from Leon on “Where Did the Year Go”, a song which begs the question, what happens to time while we wish our lives away. “Streets and Avenues”, “Beddau Boys” and “Kids on the Corner” tackle the subject of a misspent youth, hanging around street corners, blagging fags and booze while generally getting up to no good. “Not From This Town” introduces a nice touch of sax and a vocal that hints at Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill in places, it’s one of my favourites, very catchy. “Where the Dandelions Roar” was the leadoff single, which, uncannily also tips a hat to KOL’s “Use Somebody” in the chorus, itís another song of reminiscence, evoking memories of childhood.

The People The Poet

“Moving On” is the first of two low key acoustic tracks along with “Ruins of Rome”. Clocking in at just over a minute, “Moving On” is very sparse with just Tyla’s guitar accompanying Leon as he laments on the loss of a loved one, while “Ruins of Rome” is spiced up with simple keyboard flourishes and backing harmonies. “Late Late 28” and “From Time to Time” both deal with loss while “This is Our Time”, urges us to seize the moment. The album closes on a positive note with “Love Will Find You in the End”, a life-affirming song with massed voices on the rousing final chorus and the welcome return of some nice wailing sax.

The writing is superb throughout “A Short Obsession With Time”, as is the production and instrumentation, but the big plus is Leonís voice, which infuses every song with emotion and conviction. I suspect the overall mood of melancholy that pervades this album is down to the death of one of their biggest fans a year or so ago to cancer, it hit the band hard and has obviously coloured their writing. But donít let that put you off, this not a depressing listen, the majority of the songs have an uplifting quality that is contagious, highly recommended.

Track Listing
Where Did the Year Go
Streets and Avenues
Beddau Boys (We Were Born Running)
Not From This Town
Where the Dandelions Roar
Kids on the Corner
Moving On
Late Late 28
From Time to Time
Ruins of Rome
This is Our Time
Love Will Find You in the End

The People The Poet are:
Leon Stanford, vocals
Tyla Campbell, guitar
Lewis Roswell, drums
Pete Mills, Bass


Words by John Cherry