Liam Frost & The Slowdown Family - Show Me How The Spectres Dance
Listening to Show Me How The Spectres Dance, it’s hard to believe Liam Frost is only in his early twenties; such is the maturity in his voice and The Slowdown Family's strong belief in subtle, acoustic arrangements. This is an album with one foot in the folk camp.
Perhaps it’s a Manchester thing also, but the lyrics are filled with references to loss and heavy drinking; The Mourners of St Paul’s even takes in a funeral. Lines are delivered with just the right note of weariness, such as when he sings "Raise your glass for that bastard" on This Is Love. The world depicted here may not be cheery exactly, yet it's not without hope and Frost does sometimes walk with a spring in his step.
Indeed, the jauntiness of Paperboats is where the album comes closest to fellow Mancunian, Badly Drawn Boy. Although his influence is often present, this is definitely a very different debut to Hour of Bewilderbeast: shorter, much less eclectic. One is also left thinking of Elliot Smith and James Yorkston. This isn’t to reveal Frost as a copyist, rather to emphasize the quality of his music.
Much of the album’s success is down to quiet embellishments; the lovely steel guitar on Try, Try, Try, for example. Thus Show Me How The Spectres Dance will reward those willing to pay close attention. For Liam Frost and his band of not-so-merry men, the future certainly looks bright.