Countless books have been written about love, but rarely as melodic as English singer-songwriter / DIY musician Julian Pugsley aka Bernard Blake has now. The Book on Love, his new album under the moniker of Blake, contains eleven songs that keep on misleading you without feeling cheated. “I very slowly started writing lines // And I learned from the very best // My parents told me I was wasting time // So I knew I was passing the test”, he explains beautifully in standout track Lost Ground . I assume he’s referring to the great folk artists of the 70s, because that’s where the roots of Blake’s music lie. He does give it his own twist though, each chapter has a different sound, tempo and gear, without losing sight of the bigger picture. Sometimes rocking, sometimes meandering, sometimes waltzing, etc., always providing a familiar but fresh and optimistic look. In every way it has been worth the effort: this is a book we’ll be opening up more often, if only for memorable phrases like “If we surrender what’s the cost // If the fighting stops we’ll see exactly what we’ve lost” (from the title track). Whether you like to read or not, listening is a pleasure.
The Book on Love is out now digitally and on CD through Subjangle. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp