Reflections of an Illusion is Andy Whittle‘s 3rd album released on Folkwit and is his strongest yet – his distinctive style honed to near perfection. He remains one of the finest young voices in UK contemporary folk.
“Four years and four albums in, I must confess that Andy Whittle’s a new name to me. And, on the strength of this collection, I think I may have been missing out. It’s not exactly an original set-up – a singer-songwriter backing himself with guitar and piano, with a few guests adding colour on bass, banjo, and backing vocals – but there is a rare expressive conviction in Whittle’s vocal delivery.
The sound is laced with melancholy Americana, yet the songs are unapologetically English: ‘I’s so flipping freezing’, he complains on ‘Wide Awake Waltz’. In tune with the best of a line stretching back to the mid-60s, the songs are introspective but with an acuteness of perception and freshness of expression that will strike home to anyone who’s ever been just a little emotionally fragile – and that’s all of us – isn’t it?
‘Own Sweet Time’ briefly ups the tempo with simple, shimmering guitar lines and lyrics of defiant individuality, but the overarching mood of the album is one of quiet passion. It seems these days that songer-songwriters are ten – maybe fifteen a penny, but Andy Whittle’s a artist who may just leave the herd behind.” ***
– Oz Hardwick, R2 / Rock’n’Reel Magazine, March-April 2011
“…a definite gift for melody, and some of these songs once implanted in your brain will be pretty difficult to shift.”
– Yellowmoon – http://backroadsmusic.co.uk/
“I don’t remember having felt such strong emotions listening to a new artist…a masterpiece.”
– Davide Frascella – http://www.vanguard-online.co.uk/
“Nottingham-based singer-songwriter Whittle writes a good lyric that is backed with such dashing tunes as the infectious ‘Own Sweet Time’. It is one of those songs you just don’t want to end, ever. Such is the rhythm he conjures, and it is closely followed by a melodic ‘Easier Said Than Done’ and wryly penned ‘Parting Song’.
That though good it is unable to equal the likes of the wistful and particularly beautiful piano warmed ‘Spanish Armada’ or for that matter the shrewd creation ‘Wide Awake Waltz’; that offers an effective, subdued banjo and piano in the mix as hints of ragtime, jug band and country folk merge (reminiscent of early Nitty Gritty Dirt Band come American singer-songwriter Randy Newman’s song ‘Livin’ Without You’). A pretty wee gem if ever there were one! Oh, I almost forgot to mention ‘Skimming Stones’ is one of those songs that is so peaceful and charming it could wrest the power from a raging river or the biggest ocean waves.
Listed as the players alongside Whittle (guitars, piano, vocals) we have Helena Derriscott (vocals), Jezz Hall (banjo, bass guitar), Andy Hill (bass, electric guitar), Tom Parratt (drums on ‘Own sweet Time’) and though Whittle does on occasions lean heavily on his trusty piano a little more than I usually prefer even these cuts have grown on me. Such is his composed and beautifully sketched songwriting ability.”
– Maurice Hope – http://www.americana-uk.com
“Reflections Of An Illusion’ is not an album to have on in the background; it needs to be paid close attention to…more and more satisfying with each listen.”
A Songmaker’s Tale – Andy Whittle – £8.99 + P&P
- Safety Shots
- Ten Thousand Miles
- Kerb Stones Blue
- Paper Cups
- Come The Morning
- Broken Glass
- The Last One
- Friendly Fire
- Spider’s Web
- Russian Song
- Angels Dressed In Black
“A Songmaker’s Tale shows it’s predecessor was no fluke. Andy’s skills in both emotional and political songwriting have been honed to the point that their sharpness cuts bone. “Friendly Fire” is as good an anti-war song as you’ll find anywhere and “Spider’s Web” is simply thought provoking. .”
– Cambridge & Beyond
Live Review – Phoenix Arts Centre – May 2008:
“Nottingham singer-songwriter Andy Whittle is something of an undiscovered gem, with two excellent albums to his credit and a third on the way, which judging by the songs previewed in this set will easily match them. Whereas on album he is happy to use big productions and sounds, live he stripped it right back to just him and his guitar, with some occasional bass and delicate backing vocals from Rebecca Dawson. This brings the words to the fore and, delivered in his tender and expressive voice the overall effect is amazingly moving. Self-effacing to a fault he frequently loses himself completely in the songs, as indeed do the audience.
Highlights amongst a set full of them include “Friendly Fire”, a fine addition to the ranks of anti-war songs, given slightly spooky resonance by the fact that his cousin was killed in Afghanistan a short while after he wrote the song. An insistent, urgent beat drives a song of real passion and anger. The anthemic “Come the Morning” provokes a bit of a singalong, no mean achievement for 12.30 in the afternoon, and the poignant “Ten Thousand Miles”, about a girlfriend moving to Australia and the consequences thereof, stands tall despite Whittles dry observation at the start that now she’s moved back again so the song doesn’t quite work now. It does for the audience though, as indeed does everything else from a performer who is undoubtedly a major name in the making.”
– Jeremy Searle
Old Fashioned Dream – Andy Whittle – £8.99 + P&P
- Apple Tree
- Dragon Fly
- Flash In The Pan
- Old Fashioned Dream
- Heads Or Tails
- Take Your Time
- Tell Me Everything You know
- Break The Line
- Myself and Myself
- Lucky Stars
- Pass Me By
- What’s Left Of The Day
“Simply mesmerising” – Nottingham Evening Post
“Old Fashioned Dream is a great album, not just for a debut, but by anyone’s standards.” – Cambridge & Beyond
“Andy Whittle is an optimistic Nick Drake, a young Neil Young” – Folkroddels ( Belgium )
About Andy Whittle:
Andy Whittle is a singer-songwriter from Nottingham, UK. His critically acclaimed debut ‘Old Fashioned Dream‘ won him the Saul Folk Quest Songwriters Competition 2006, Debut Album Of The Year 2006 from FATEA/Cambridge & Beyond.
Since then he’s released 2 further albums on Folkwit: A Song Maker’s Tale and Reflections of an Illusion
His music continues to win over audiences. One of Folkwit’s most popular artists.