Is there a soundtrack to the soul? The mere location and identity of the soul is itself a subject of perennial pop-scientific and specious philosophical musing; to the extent that an objective concept exists, it’s considered an ethereal construct, well beyond the analytical constructs of post-enlightenment discourse. Yet, like pornography and art, the soul is there when you know it. And the soul is everywhere on Roller One’s new album, Beautiful Fountain.
Take, for instance, the opening track, ‘All The Windows In This Town Are Closed’: using Roller One’s bare-bones acoustic folk-country-psych musical aesthetic, Fergus McAlpin casts his eye across a deserted country town and imagines what lies behind closed doors and beyond the dead-end streets; the town becomes the metaphor for his inner emotions.
‘I Saw Her There’ is heartfelt: an image of beauty, a moment of happiness, a sense of wonder; in a world of cheap social media commentary, this is as real as it gets. ‘Sea Of Mundane’ tempers the good with the bad – behind the facade lies the harshness of reality. It’s sparse and almost brutal: drugs, despair and tragedy. The dark atmosphere rolls in quietly like an encroaching storm; the bleakness never breaks, yet by the end there’s a sense of resignation that the dye has been set.
Finally, there’s ‘Someone Like You’, and love is in the air, in all its fascinating glory. We ride out across an ocean of hope, fiscally challenged and romantically excited.
Roller One is a band that explores and touches the soul of human existence. You can’t make this shit up: it comes from the human soul, wherever, and whatever that is.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Beautiful Fountain is out now through Torn And Frayed.