The Sad Song Co. - in amber

By Jennifer Quinlin

Released Friday August 26th, 2016 - NP Productions

If you’re a fan of Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls then you’ll already be familiar with Nigel Powell, the outstanding talent behind the drum kit.  When not touring for what seems to be every day of the year he can also be found on his other projects with Dive Dive, and, previously, The Unbelievable Truth.  Somewhere amongst all of these commitments he has also found the time to create and release the third album of The Sad Song Co. called ‘in amber’.  Powell is producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, with his Unbelievable Truth colleague, Jason Moulster, on bass guitar.

The Sad Song Co. is self-described dark progressive rock/adult-oriented pop, and I have to say this album isn’t like anything I’ve heard before - not least because the concept is based around life in a nursing home and the twilight years of life.  At first glance that seems an odd theme for an album, and certainly a world away from your typical pop tunes, but I find myself rendered numb each time I play it through. There’s a gorgeous mixture of light and dark, and a painfully honest account of both the fragility and strength of the human journey.

I’m fairly sure Nigel Powell doesn’t regard himself as a natural frontman, preferring to let others bear that mantle, but he certainly seems a natural on this album.  It’s a while since I’ve been so comprehensively drawn in and affected by an album, to be honest, and every listen has left me awash in tears.  It’s hard not to relate your own experiences with family and friends to the subject matter, and there’s a few songs that turn me to a puddle of sobs when I think of my own father’s decline at the hands of Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia a couple of years ago - ‘Moment of Clarity’ and ‘Meet You There’ in particular.  There’s a lovely counter to the sombre tunes with the beautiful ‘Legacy of Love’ and ‘Last Dance of the Evening’, but each track is a hand firmly around your heart, either gently cradling or squeezing just enough to make your chest hurt.

If you’re after some thoughtful, reflective music then I can’t recommend this highly enough.

4.5 / 5