Chris Mills And The Distant Stars – Blooms
There are those bands and songwriters you love but inexplicably to you no one gets it. I began listening to Chris Mills around 2000 when he released Kiss It Goodbye. I followed his progress, bought the new albums and searched out the old album and EPs, saw the odd show when it made financial sense for him to tour the UK, all the while coming to terms with, and baffled by, that he might never get the recognition I at least thought he deserved. But then in the time after 2005’s wonderfully conceived and executed The Wall to Wall Sessions album, I too lost contact with what he was doing.
It was stumbling upon one of his albums made me look up what he was doing now. In the years gone by there’d been another two albums and he was, and is, in that non-romantic term, a working musician, negotiating his way through a period where, for a variety of reasons, it’s difficult being a working musician. He was just about to embark on a new album and had started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund it. I invested, others invested, he raised enough, and Alexandria was released, from which ‘Blooms’ is taken. You may not hear anything in it; I’m used to that. But for me he writes these beautifully crafted songs, sometimes pop, sometimes country, sometimes a mix of the two. And on the new album I hear connections to the music he made fifteen years ago; a musician and songwriter, not retreading old ground, but continuing, adding and expanding on what he began with those first EPs.