Garin Fitter - Miss Me? Album Review.
Garin Fitter - Miss Me?
Garin Fitter, a 21 year old Media Production student based in Cardiff, released his debut record Miss Me? on the 23rd of April to great reception. His relatively small fan base began to support Fitter following his two EP releases in both 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Miss Me? tells a tale of transformation from being in a relationship with one person to being with someone different. During this transformation Garin opens his heart and shares with us his personal struggles and achievements.
The emotional LP begins with two tracks Hey Mary, and King of the Jungle. The acoustic guitar - which is featured throughout the album - is cleverly placed on top of the backing instruments that dominate the opening number. Furthermore, if you’re hearing Fitter's voice for the first time, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. His vocals are uplifting and work in complete harmony to the instruments. The catchy chorus will cause you to sing along, as I did; unfortunately, I don’t think I did the song any justice, and probably won’t be featuring on any of his future albums!
During this track, Fitter demonstrates his amazing vocal range. Whatever each song demands of him, he rises to the challenge.
King of the Jungle allows Fitter to show that he can appeal to your emotions; he is opening up to you, and allowing himself to show his vulnerability. You can’t help but be moved by him: “I find it’s easier to speak in metaphors, ‘cos it lets you know how I’m feeling when I can’t put it into words.” he sings, in the very first lines. Surely, we can all identify with this? The inability to find the right words, at the right time. Both of these tracks will whet your appetite for what the other eight songs have to offer.
Many albums feature at least one song that is slower and mellower in tempo, and Miss Me? is no exception. What do you do? escapes the upbeat background instruments and Fitter further demonstrates his vocal abilities. High notes, different tones and a focus on his unique sound, seems to already bring out the best in Fitter at such an early stage of his musical career.
What do you do? like the rest of the album, is heart-rending, and if you’re reading this looking for a review on an album with happy lyrics, you’re reading the wrong review! However if you’re looking for an album with an upbeat melody, then you should certainly read on and have a listen to Miss Me? for yourself.
Far from this Town returns to the familiar fast-paced theme we heard in the opening tracks but, its inspiration was derived from a situation most of us dread but, will inevitably experience. It is dedicated to Fitter’s best friend, George Higgins-Hughes, with whom he grew up in the small Welsh seaside town of Aberystwyth.
“It’s a song I wrote partly as a moving away from Aber and wishing I could stay there with him, but also partly as a response. He wrote a track about a New Year’s Eve party that went badly so I wrote [Far from this Town] in response to what happened.” (If you’d like to listen to Higgins-Hughes’ song Close to Home, visit his Spotify.)
Dreaming of Neverland returns to the familiar slow tempo that we heard earlier in What do you do? This suits Fitter’s voice extremely well and we feel his deep emotion when he sings. The song sent shivers down my spine as he sings about not wanting to grow old, “everyone around me has visions of growing old. That’s the last thing on my bucket list.” He will certainly grow as an artist if he continues to make songs like this.
As the album progresses, it becomes more heart-wrenching and intense. With Smile, be prepared for Fitter's voice to dominate your headphones. Drums, piano and, of course, the acoustic guitar that features in every song catches your attention, as his long and strong vocals sit perfectly on top.
The seventh song Drained has an incredibly catchy chorus, and could have been a contender for one of the best tracks on the album; but sadly, the rest of the song didn't quite live up to the chorus. The eighth number, Sometimes Things Don't Quite Work Out the Way You Thought They Would features an upbeat feel to a song, following a relationship break up. The power in Fitter's voice in this track is incredible, as are the lyrics. However, the instruments on which his voice sits on aren't as great. Each instrument you hear doesn't work as well as Fitter would have hoped, and, perhaps he would have been better off sticking to the acoustic guitar.
The final two tracks on the album are explosive and bring out the best in Fitter. Quicksand and Portobello Road demonstrate Fitter's ability to write incredible songs. Staying simple can often be the key to success, and that's exactly what Quicksand does. The drums and guitar work very well together in comparison to the previous song, and, with clever lyrics, I'm glad the album is set to end so strongly.
Miss Me? ends with a bang when Portobello Road begins, right through to the last note. Fitter explores new ideas in this song, whilst also bringing elements from his other tracks and placing them cleverly in what's easily the best song on the LP. The group vocals, guitar solo and voice solo all adds to a fiery end to a debut album that is definitely worth the purchase.
As a debut album, this is a great harbinger of what Fitter, potentially, can achieve. Perhaps there are a few moments when a more experienced hand would have dealt better with the material. My one gripe about Fitter’s debut release is that some of the songs do sound alike, and follow the same structure, however - overall, if Fitter continues to develop and finds the right balance between the drums and guitar, his is a name we will definitely hear a lot more of!
© 2017 Rhys Russell