Sunday, 25 April 2010

Eat Me: Andreas Constantinou's 'Wonderland'

Sweetness and dark are all around in Wonderland, especially for boys and girls with dark and inquisitive souls. If that’s you then read on…

The long awaited follow up to Fistful finds Andreas Constantinou on top form, opening the book on a fairytale collection of characters with a story to tell. Some are victims of their beauty (‘The Maiden’), while others are sly predators, concealing plenty and taking all (‘Beautiful’).

Like any fairytale there are shadows in the corners and cracks beneath the surface, but with that darkness comes an abundance of colour as the talented singer/songwriter and performer (he really is a proper Jack of all things, including hearts I shouldn’t wonder…) weaves his evocative poetry through song.

Playing the part of storyteller, participant and indeed accomplice, our narrator unravels his creations and infuses them with infectious rhythm, memorable riffs and a well considered selection of instruments. Autoharp and ukulele are the major voices behind the music, while guitars, piano and percussion lend support throughout. A dusting of synthetics play their part too, looped and immediate in ‘Beautiful’ while, ‘Slither’ uncovers an edgier vibe as the melody and riffs swagger and saunter their way.

‘Wonderland’, being the title track, is something of a standout amongst a set list already standing to attention with its vivid and creative instrumentation - not to mention something of a trip following the bridge – while the all too short ‘B.U.G.’ finds a cannibalistic beast of storybook proportions taking centre stage, the fluffy-sweetness of the delivery belying the brilliantly grizzly subject.

Further highlights include the gorgeously quirky curtain raiser ‘Autumn’, the energetic ‘The Hunter, The Hunted’ and the brilliantly evocative ‘Pandora’. In all cases Constantinou’s vocals reveal a talented performer with a real twinkle in his eye not to mention an imagination both fertile and frenzied.
Drawing the selection to a close far too early for my liking is ‘Lullaby’, which manages to be at once wistful, awkward and entirely uplifting and ends the trip through Wonderland beautifully. I can’t get enough of this; it really is a fabulous, fantastical, indie-folk feast... Gobble it up.

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