Chicken or tomato?
Joe Smith
12:21 18th June 2021

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Sunshine, stress and soup: a dream combination? John Myrtle seems to think so on his really quite lovely debut. Dripping with sweet moments of sixties-esque folk, and beautifully minimalistic, yet still complex, instrumentals, it’s an album that if it were a person, you’d want to be friends with. 

From the get-go, Myrtle Soup is instantly likeable. Its woozy rhythms, cosy aesthetic and original loose storyline all collide to produce a record vastly unique to itself. Inspired by lockdown living, this record teaches us to appreciate the smaller things, whilst also flipping anxieties on their head, examining therapeutic remedies to halt negativity in its tracks. Following the process of John making some soup in his kitchen, we’re guided through highs and lows, pleasures and anxieties. Rife with charming lyricism, and bubbling interludes, Myrtle Soup can take all your worries away 

Album opener ‘Get Her Off My Mind’, introduces us to John’s own brand of drowsy folk. Sundrenched and glistening, this track is the musical equivalent to reading on a beach. It exudes a charming warmth, found only when at near peace with yourself, as well as capturing the beauty of an early love.

‘Ballad of the Road’, takes a more sombre turn, but still manages to capture Myrtle’s endearing charm. A shorter track, it can be easily envisioned that John wrote this in his kitchen, probably making soup, as raindrops rattled against his window. With acoustic rhythms that bear resemblance to the gentle fall of raindrops, this song holds a steady sensation of solace, and creates an odd visual accompaniment. This accompaniment being an image that remains sturdy in your mind of a scene of falling rain. The visual element of John’s music is one that appears frequently throughout the record, and it’s a real testament to John’s songwriting ability.

‘Remember Holly Park’ bears resemblance to an early Fleet Foxes track, with its emotive acoustic progression and sublime backing vocals, it’s a compelling and forlorn track that dwells on that sensation of transporting yourself to a happy place, a simpler time, and an altogether easier existence.

Myrtle Soup is a charming debut endeavour from John Myrtle. Layered with simple romanticism, witty lyrics, and emotive instrumentation, it’ll sound its best played on a hazy summer afternoon, or on a rainy evening, the choice is yours.

John Myrtle's Myrtle Soup is out now on Sad Club Records.

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Photo: Press