Main Photo: Matthew Harris

1339QT-bristol-album-artwork-square-v3If you’re unfamiliar with BIMM College they will be one of the key ingredients to a lot of the music you see performed in Bristol. With a line up of tutors from musical backgrounds, a lot current, they teach all things musical from falsettos to death metal growls. Each year they put out an album of prise cuts from their students and this years was another satisfying morsel.

Expertly put together with some recordings taking place at Jim Barrs’ (Portishead) J and J studios with some production offered from Bat for Lashes Tim Allen; from the outset it sounds highly professional and diverse. It could easily pass for a mix put together by a label to showcase their signed artists.

Stand out tracks include the opener by Fragics called Typewriter. Beginning with a warm and beautifully melancholic piano, the singer invites us into a reflective story using his sparse and impacting voice which feels like a glowing ember. Sounding a pinch like Nick Cave but far less jaded, there are some excellent lyric choices where the intonation is surprising but lands with more than just credible emotional resonance.

Velvet Circus also make an impression with above and below waltzing with confident abandonment as the acoustic strings rain intermittently across the song. The reverb shimmering female vocals feel very much in the ink of Tori Amos as the track effectively expounds on more of a sentiment than a narrative. Coming in at under 3 minutes, it makes for an irresistible repeat play ditty which blows a cool breeze over any frayed wits you may have.

One last mention should go to Sam Gallop who I managed to catch at the Dot to Dot festival and so was keen to hear his effort on the compilation. As expected Better Left is a grand piece where his soulful and at times operatic (although not on this particular track) voice easily holds the composition together with ease. The dynamics progress with a determined stride, whilst not clambering or rushing. Although not as ambitious as Jeff Buckleys Grace you can hear echoes of influence and fast see him approaching that grandeur as his vocal performance and song writing galvanise with time. Most attempts at multi-faceted triumphant self expression you are likely to hear on the radio would be rightfully put to shame by this track.

The whole album jumps from genre to genre with one of the signs of quality being that you happily listen to types of music you’d often avidly avoid. The entire collection is so well executed and produced with the creativity shining throughout that each track will captivate your interest in some way.

Check out the full BIMM album below: