As the more vigilant amongst you probably know, the music press have a fondness for bundling and meshing together sub-genres of bands and artists of similar aesthetic and style, which means that Berkshire-based solo artist, Jack Robert Hardman, could find himself only too easy nestled up in the gloriously twee microcosm of indie-folk pop anchored by The Decemberists, Bright Eyes and Belle & Sebastian.
That is, if his new single Famous were anything to go by: fuelled in more liberal doses in that sometimes much sought-after optimism of youth and all the wondrous bliss, naivety and decadence that comes with it, it’s something that possesses the power to leave anyone over the age of 30 seriously reminiscing over the days of lost youth.
Because youth and the glimmering promise it encompasses are the embodiment of this song; the guitar playing is quiet, tender and almost unobtrusive and his singing compliments in equal quantities of demureness and tranquillity. There’s something about Hardman in his song that suggests he’s looking for another place and time, however unrealistic that place or time may be. The draw of it all is in how gentle everything is, but lacking that fire and vigour that Hardman does in his tightly wrapped up gossamer means that it’s nearly so tenuous that it could fall apart like quickly spun cotton candy.
Jack Robert Hardman may be good with a guitar riff and practising a half-way between whispering and singing, but it’s pretty unlikely that he’ll make it as famous.