Great songs last a lifetime and Christopher Bull has definitely set the bar in terms of his place in this new generation of songwriters with “The Utopia EP.” With poetic harmonies and heartbreaking lyricism, Bull evokes all the pain of a tortured artist with the flare of a great harmonic overhead created by the arrangements and overall production.
Right into it, I am completely drawn in. His voice echoes that of Jeff Buckley while remaining still it’s own creative entity. Eerie falsettos and downright heart clenching soulful singing create song structures so strong you want to listen to every song. Cohesive songwriting leads to great albums and this EP is no exception. Every song flows into each other like listening to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” Production-wise all the guitars and the bass are fantastic.
Recorded at Jonathan Pearce’s studio in central Auckland, much of the songs are loosely based on Bull’s struggles coming to terms with life and growing. Bull’s struggle is noted through his perception of the world around him. His home New Zealand had been hit by the financial crash in 2008, as well as millions of others around the world. Bull notes “suddenly this life that we’d been told could have just disappeared - go to university, get a job, meet a partner, buy a house. It was destabilizing because that’s what the whole NZ dream is.”
Bull has said of the recording process that “it was made quickly, and with purpose.” With a wide array of wonderfully sonic guitars like the Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul, i have to say as a tone freak myself I am very pleased with how the guitars came out. The guitar sound is fat and rings well with whatever effect is driven through it, also noting it never sounds thin or weak. I would have to say the same with the bass. It is well-rounded and deep like a tree trunk, just keeping the groove.
The isolation of a singer/songwriter album can make or break the album in my opinion, but The Utopia EP really is produced well, and its musical arrangements keep Bull’s songs going up until the end. Listen to the songs “Pile it all on (a toast to the optimists)” and “Utopia” and you will definitely want to listen to the whole experience.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook