Geekk. & home//live// (CD)
Available online for the first time in flipping ages, my (sort of) secret 'debut'* album GEEKK. This reissued edition features a handful of bonus tracks that were the 'home//live//' EP, sold on a tour somewhere in the early 2010s.
This album was, essentially, my university dissertation. Recorded in the studios at the University of Huddersfield in the 2009/2010 academic year, as well as the house I shared with my friends Josh and Sean, the album features a host of guest musicians. The rhythm section of Jon Taylor and Ste Anderson (the same that would make up the More Stately Mansions record) produced some spectacular performances (and a notable mention for former Amplifier bass player Neil Mahony for his stunning work on the album's closing track), and the piano playing (captured at Leeds College of Music) is reasonably solid. The string arrangements penned by Jon and myself over M O N T H S of coffee and hanging out in his flat feature some beautiful moments, and were performed by a brilliant string quartet who also featured on some of Richard Hawley's albums.
I absolutely cannot STAND the sound of my voice on this album, but people did seem to like it when I released it. This album is very much the sound of somebody trying a lot of things out, and getting somewhat overexcited by the prospect of how many layers they could add to something. The follies of youth.
If you really like the music I've released in the last five years, this album will perhaps be a way of getting a bit of context as to my secret pre-recording contract journey.
Here's what some folks had to say about it at the time:
'For all my quibbles and pinickity criticisms of aspects of this record, it is, without doubt, a hugely impressive piece of work and fully deserving of a great deal of recognition. Barnes is still developing as a musician, his ability improving in leaps and bounds, almost with every syllable he sings, and this LP is an early sign of wonders to come. Highly recommended listening.' - GodisintheTV
'With no Drowned In Huddersfield to speak of, we’re adopting singer and multi-instrumentalist Charlie Barnes. Geekk is an astonishingly ambitious debut LP whose creator’s vocal acrobatics are matched only by the bittersweet glitch pop he surrounds himself with. Songs like the breathy, looped wizardry of ‘Bedroom’ at times feel hemmed in by the compressed production, but that doesn’t detract from the majesty a truly promising album. Out now.' - Drownedinsound (Manchester)
'Geekk is a capricious mix of looping glitch electronica, progressive rock in the vein of Oceansize and post-OK Computer Radiohead affectations. This alone would merit the loyal cult fanbase Barnes has accrued, but in addition he possesses a wonderful voice; he could give Jeff Buckley a run for his money.' - Prog Magazine
1. A City Built
3. This Boy Blind
4. Degas Dancer
9. Snakes, Ladders & Aeroplanes
10. Final Call
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*Nope. There's an even MORE secret ACTUAL debut album. From 2006.