Tristram’s new EP, Someone Told Me a Poem, is an unfeasibly beautiful toolkit for dealing with the commonplace mundanities of modern life, replete with lulling laments about stolen property, ice tea and zombies.
The title track is an enigma of a song – epic in scale, yet somehow under 3 minutes long, it takes in bedrooms, shipmates, helpful rats and a cacophony of musical instruments that should’ve been shoe-horned into this tiny space but manage to sound, well, perfect.
‘Ballad of a Stolen Bicycle’ is a heartbreak song for the new decade. The reflections of a lost soul with a lost bike, who concludes philosophically that “Some property we keep, and some we are forced to surrender’. The pain is palpable, and the talent of the writer transcends the everyday subject matter, producing something effervescent and astounding.
‘Me and James Dean’ imagines street brawls, knife fights and stolen cars, vanquishing a love rival with the help of Jimmy Dean, set over the gentlest strumming of a ukulele. The sweetest of voices informs the listener that, inspired by Public Enemy, “I’m gonna fight the power – fight the powers that be”. But all you can imagine him doing is riding a unicorn off into the mystical sunset. The fantastically titled ‘Zombie Holocaust’ continues the juxtaposition visceral, violent imagery with the mildest delivery, and the sorrowful conviction that it’s best to feed oneself to zombies, because ‘I’d only waste my life’.
This is folk music for the now: intensely felt, beautifully composed and engaged head-on with life as it is, not as it was or might be.
Words: Helen True
Watch Anika’s lovely video for Someone Told Me a Poem and be amazed.