North Devon’s Julian Langer
Folk with a bit of an edge.
Even on a track like “Penny” which has a rather delicate and tinkling guitar accompaniment, the vocal is delivered with a slow measured almost spoken word style and presents you with lines like “If I had a paint brush then I’d paint your eyes, but I have no strength in brush stroke, and I’m colourblind”
But, get me; writing words about music and not finding you some of it to listen to.
So here’s his lead single “You Don’t See The Dark” the sole track on his Soundcloud
I think this illustrates my point rather well. The song strongly reminds me of The Doors, “The End”.
Not that Julian appears to be a moody looking guy. Sure, he isn’t permanently wreathed in smiles. Most pictures of him performing show him concentrating on his playing more than grinning at the audience, but there is plenty of evidence that he can be cheerful.
He uses open and alternative tunings for his songs, and it may be that this adds to the unusually introspective tone of the music. (I’m no musician so I don’t really know too much about tunings and minor keys and all that stuff)
I had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing him on my show last Sunday, and he is a charming softly spoken young man, who seems mature and thoughtful. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year and spent the time during his treatment developing his playing, and in particular, migrating his style away from that of Bob Dylan (an early influence) and more towards the likes of Ben Howard, Nick Drake, Xavier Rudd and Mumford and Sons.
Perhaps partly influenced by his own experience with cancer, but also I believe deeply rooted in his personality, Julian has organised a number of charity events involving local musicians, such as “Folk Off Cancer” at the Old Bus Station, Barnstaple, which raised over six hundred pounds for cancer charities, and an Oxjam festival also at the Old Bus Station.
Here is the video for his song Lamorna, featuring some stunning North Devon countryside, and coastline.
His album is only available as a physical copy which was a deliberate decision on his part. He says he wants to resist the trend towards digital music and is willing to risk losing a proportion of sales to preserve the musical quality and integrity of his work. A stance which is at least laudable is perhaps rather courageous. You can buy it locally at Solo Music in Barnstaple and for those of you not fortunate enough to live in North Devon it is available online at BigCartel
There’s an excellent interview with Julian, here at Arts and Entertainment North Devon