Named after an old episode of the classic TV series The Twilight Zone, The Trouble With Templeton is the moniker of talented singer/songwriter/guitarist Thomas Calder. Bleeders, his debut album release, sees Calder exploring a rich musical palette and terrain as an artist.
Opening with the candid “When Will”, the album has an incredibly raw and disarmingly honest quality to it, both in Calder’s lyrical and vocal style. This recalls singers such as the late Elliot Smith in that, as a listener, one almost feels guilty to listen in that on both a sonic and lyrical level, you feel like you have inadvertently stumbled into Calder’s bedroom and are listening to him perform these tracks for the first time.
The songs featured on Bleeders have a beautifully honest quality to them. Calder continues a rich tradition of male singer/songwriters with acoustic guitars. However, not once does this limit the album’s sound and scope. Calder very cleverly deploys other musical motifs and devices during the course of the songs featured he, such as the gorgeous piano line weaving its way through the slow burn that is “Old Habits”.
The way this contrasts with the following track, the wistful and utterly charming “I Wrote A Novel,” which features great use of overlapping voices, like the listener is in someone’s mind., is a wonderful illustration that Calder isn’t an artist that specialises in depressing, sook sooky la la music, which is a big trap that many artists of this genre and style of music can fall into.
Other standout track featured on Bleeders include the haunting title track, “Home”, “Someday Soon”, “Tired” and the wonderful “30 Something”.
Bleeders is an auspicious and polished release from Mr Calder. One looks forward to where his career will take him.
– Neil Evans
Bleeders is out now through MGM.