OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

Tom Gray (of Gomez) – Songs from Flyaway Katie CD Mini Review

Musical confession time: As of 2 weeks ago, I didn’t know the music of Gomez from that of Guster, or from Godsmack for that matter.  I think it’s ’bout time I familiarize myself with the former.

Tom Gray of the Southport, England indie rock band Gomez has soundtracked 3 puppet shows based on a trio of picture books by Polly Dunbar and those recordings have now docked stateside.  The live puppets shows, however and unfortunately (for at least the time being), remain the exclusive domain of the good people of the United Kingdom.  Lucky chaps.

The Songs from Flyaway Katie is our favorite of the three discs, and as such we recently picked up the book from our local library (because, as long as I’m sharing artists I wasn’t hip to: Polly Dunbar was also a mystery to me).  The Bear and Mouse asked me straightaway if the title and lead track is a happy song and while I’m not entirely sure, I told them that it makes me pretty cheerful. You’ll have to judge for yourself if this sweeping, melancholy ode to chasing a (day)dream registers on the positive or negative side of the emotional spectrum. One thing I think we could all agree on is this: “Flyaway Katie” is a gorgeous piece of orchestral pop that’s both catchy and meditative.

“Whoosh into the Picture” is, I swear, a Rufus Wainwright tune.  The drama, the nasally voice, the orchestration; a positively brilliant song whether you’re familiar with the particular page in “Flyaway Katie” it’s referencing or not.

I must say that Dunbar’s book is really stunning as well.  It’s a simple idea – that splashes of color can do WAY more than just brighten up a room, they can perk up an individual’s present mood and future outlook on life.  It’s so totally true (the Mouse and I just bought a bouquet of yellow & purple flowers to spruce up our environment – no doubt, subconsciously inspired by “Flyaway Katie”).  No use being dull and gray, when you can be bold and vivid!

The other two albums are solid, but other than the tune “Raspberry” from “The Songs from Penguin” no single tune leaped out with the immediacy that the entire “Flyaway Katie” album did.  So, if you’re wanting to whoosh into the Polly Dunbar/Tom Gray picture, start there.

*Digital versions of all 3 Tom Gray albums were provided to OWTK for review.  The opinions expressed above are unbiased and honest.  No arm-twisting took place in the review process.

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