GRANFALLOON – Single & Video Review: “The Pigeon”

Last July (of 2021), I wrote about British artist Granfalloon, the music project of enormously creative, thoughtful and talented singer-songwriter, producer and guitarist Richard Lomax, when I reviewed his single “Working On Your Own”. Based in Manchester, his unique music style is a pleasing hybrid of lo-fi alternative folk, experimental and electronica. “Working On Your Own” was the second single from his third album Positive Songs, which was subsequently released on August 27,(which coincidentally also happens to be my birthday). The album is a collaborative work featuring 11 tracks produced for The Positive Song Project, launched by Lomax and his friend Lobelia Lawson during the first lockdown of 2020. He invited songwriters to create new music by challenging themselves to focus on positive aspects and feelings, rather than negative or depressing songs about feeling isolated and bored during lockdown. The response was overwhelming, resulting in the creation of over 300 tracks by artists from around the world.

Today, Granfalloon is releasing “The Pigeon” as the third single from Positive Songs, along with a sweet animated video. The press release for the single explains his inspiration for writing the song: “In early 2020, Lomax formed a short-lived but intense relationship with a dove on his bedroom window ledge. The two would meet up during their weekly ‘middle class clap for the NHS’, exchanging ribald tales and knowing coos until Lomax realised it was no dove that he’d befriended but a lowdown, dirty pigeon. Unperturbed, he penned this song about eschewing the imaginary in favour of finding worth in the everyday.”

Come and see the doves
On the window ledge
There is hope on the outside

In a world of wonder
Who needs fantasy
In a world of wonder
Believe in you and me
Who needs unicorns
When we've got rhinos?
Who needs doves
When we've got pigeons?
Who needs angels
When I've got you?

For the recording of the song, Lomax sang lead vocals and played acoustic guitar, organ, Omnichord and programmed beats and synths, Lobelia Lawson sang backing vocals and played piano, Steve Lawson played bass, Adrian Ingham of alternative rock band Hello Cosmos played electric guitar, and Andy Lyth played drums. Together, they’ve created a trippy and wonderful piece of ear candy.

The song opens with Steve Lawson’s thick, pulsating bassline setting an infectious rhythmic groove, over which Lomax layers smooth organ and Omnichord, accompanied by Lyth’s measured drum beats, and punctuated by Ingham’s gnarly guitar notes. The result is a cool, almost jazzy vibe, though more lighthearted thanks to smooth Omnichord and synths. I love Lawson’s bass, which turns funky at times, and Ingham’s marvelous psychedelic guitar solo in the bridge is a real treat. At the song progresses, Lomax adds lots of quirky synth sounds that nicely suggests the playfulness of the pigeons. His warm vocals are delightful too, backed by his and Lobelia Lawson’s wonderful lilting harmonies. It’s a terrific song.

The stylish and charming animated video, created by Granfalloon and Jordie Roomer of Roomer Animations, brings the song lyrics to life with scenes of a colorful building of apartments situated above a row of storefronts, all populated by groups of whimsical pigeons involved in an array of everyday pigeon activities.

Follow Granfalloon:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

The album Positive Songs is only available as a digital download on Bandcamp and in CD format, though the singles are also available for streaming on Spotify Apple Music & Soundcloud.

Photo of Granfalloon is by Paul Samuel.

12 thoughts on “GRANFALLOON – Single & Video Review: “The Pigeon”

  1. Noneyobiz

    Dirty Wurlitzer 200 and Mellotron with Simon & Garfunkel harmony? I’m in. Totally digging this and the tripped out guitar solo with a dropout section where the reverb disappears. The gentle Pop side of Psychedelia. And thank God someone is finally dealing with this building maintenance topic. This was a 10 for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Noneyobiz

      And come on, this one with God’s own analog drum sound? Exquisite. There’s plenty of “yeah this is pretty good” out there but this is a “Hey come hear this” group. Production, writing, performance all show up to the party.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Roberts

    OK now that I’ve taken a deeper dive and let Spotify run through his catalog I think you’ve done a total misrepresentation here. Yeah this song is chipper and cute, but it’s a total anomaly when you hear the larger body of work. Despite the winning band arrangement in this tune a listen through the RGB album presents a wash of sound with constant pulse but no high hat in sight and for most part no recognizable guitar chords. There are no harmony vocals just a single lugubrious voice that weaves through gauzy aural scenes of extreme melancholy. And you might think I’m knocking it, but actually this is some of the most fucking amazing music. There’s a beautiful and heavy fin du seicle mood that harkens to best of Weimar Cabaret music albeit in a different guise. Nick Cave sounds like Abba next to this. The “number of monthly listeners” shown on Spotify for this artist is a freaking crime.

    Think I’m blowing smoke? Listen:

    Like

    1. I’ve listened to quite a bit of his back music catalog, and I agree he’s a pretty amazing and terribly underrated artist. I’ll also concede that I’m a terrible reviewer, and rarely know what the hell I’m talking about. I got into writing music reviews almost by accident, and honestly don’t know why any musician or band would want me to write about their music. I’m not a musician, and have little understanding about instruments, music techniques or sound design. I should just give it up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeff Roberts

        Hell no!! You’ve written some great reviews here Jeff, and besides being lucky to have them here, any band would want to grab them as publicity outside of this forum. I was just goofing around about the shocking contrast between this happy tune, which I absolutely love, and the amazing darkness of the other work–it’s like an alter ego. I’m so sorry for any confusion!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Roberts

    And thank you for this discovery. This was truly a watershed musical find of yours. I’m absolutely blown away by this music, both the sunshine Pop and the very heavy emotional work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great tune, though admittedly, it was primarily the clip that initially grabbed me. At first, I felt the song was a bit monotonous and repetitive, but after a few listens it works well for me. It’s catchy, plus, I have to agree with the bass and the guitar solo are cool!

    Liked by 1 person

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