Hide & Seek
Henry Bateman is a 22 year old talent, based in Leeds, England. Hide & Seek is his third album, and he continues to progress while paying attention to traditions in the folk genre. Although he is relatively new to the world of folk music, he sounds as if he has been around for decades. Not that his music sounds old, quite the opposite, but he writes with a great deal of confidence. He knows how to turn a phrase and he knows how to write remarkably strong lyrics.
Musically, this is textured folk music. It is not simply a guy with a guitar, but instead Bateman creates music full of twists and turns melodically. With help from co-producer Tim Goddard he layers sounds throughout the songs that not only assist in producing beautiful melodies, the arrangements keep one very interested in the songs.
Lyrically, these are love songs, but expressed in a very literary manner. Not simply ‘I love her’, for example, but more complicated and soulful. Read the lyrics to “If Your Heart Is Beating”.
“And staring at the sky
Screaming ‘why can’t I?’
Why must I be alone?”
It reads like a poem, and all the other songs are in the same category. His lyrics flow and can be read outside of the music. The fact that he writes incredible melodies is a bonus.
Bateman sounds like an experienced folk singer. He has his influences but he does creates his own style. Hide & Seek is an album that in some ways redefines what folk music can be. While working within the genre, he manages to find new and unique ways to express himself. This is a brilliant album and Bateman is perhaps the greatest undiscovered talent today.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: HENRY BATEMAN – HIDE & SEEK