TIM EVELEIGH – Album Review: “A Record”

Describing himself as “a middle-aged, middle-class singer-songwriter from South London“, Tim Eveleigh seems to be a humble man right from the get-go. After listening to his charming debut album, simply titled A Record, I am certain of it. Not only that, he’s a Renaissance man of sorts, with many talents and interests ranging from music and stand-up comedy to computer programming/IT development, music and events promotion, economics and politics. He’s also a staunch advocate for racial justice and equality.

Tim’s been involved with music since his childhood, and in a wonderful  interview with the webzine Croydonist, he discussed how he began studying piano at a young age, eventually working his way up to violin and then viola in secondary school, where he also played in the orchestra. He began writing songs when he was 10, and ended up playing in two bands, which he cheekily remarked “rather worryingly, evidence of this still exists“. By his early 30s he’d written what he described as a solid collection of songs, but “after playing these for a few years I scrapped them all and started again, and I’ve written enough songs to record a couple of albums.”

From what I can tell, he’s released music rather sporadically over the past 15 years, beginning with a three-track EP this is all i have in December 2007. Nearly 13 years passed before he put out another release, a three-track EP In Kilnsea in June 2020, and last month, he returned with his debut album A Record, which dropped March 15th. The album features nine tracks, eight written by Tim and one, “White Lines”, written by British singer-songwriter and musician Ben Cosh. For the album’s recording, Tim played guitars, keyboards & percussion and sang lead vocals, Maria Levesley sang backing vocals, and Joe Jones played bass. Additionally, several other musicians contributed their talents on selected tracks, including Pete Long on saxophone, Pete Cooper on flugelhorn and trumpet, Andy Thornton on guitar, bells and bass, Chris Kimber on tubular bells, and Cara Thornton on backing vocals.

The album opens with “Overture“, a lovely, almost gospel-like song with a bit of a Celtic folk vibe. The inspiring lyrics “tell the world you’re alright, tell the world you sleep tight, and nothing can wake you up” set an overall tone of love and optimism for A Record. And though most of its tracks touch on aspects of love, relationships and emotional well-being, the lone – and glaring – exception is “Drones“. Though the song sounds pleasing from a musical standpoint, highlighted by Pete Cooper’s appropriately droning flugelhorn, the lyrics are searing and bitter, calling out our leaders who lead us into endless wars while insulating themselves from the resulting horrors: “You send our sons and our daughters to war. You send our sons into battle and our daughters into hell. You send our sons and our daughters to war and now you want us to do it all again. Have you learned no lessons from the deaths of the millions. Now you want us to do it all again. I see your sons and your daughters are alive. You make these big decisions, then let others do the killing. I see your sons and your daughters are alive.”

Tim has a pleasing and warm singing voice that’s similar to another British artist I’ve written about, The Blue Flame (aka Richard Stone), as well as Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys in spots. On the beautiful and jazzy “Manifesto“, he sings of the games we play and things we say in order to keep our romantic relationships alive, referring to them as ‘propaganda’: “Propaganda: keeping us together. Propaganda: the lies that we tell each other. Propaganda: tell me what i need to hear. Propaganda: we are all actors. And I will love you till the end of time, and I will take you everywhere you want to go, and I will hold your hand while you sleep. I will be here until you go.” With Joe’s terrific little bassline, Tim and Andy’s wonderful guitars, Tim’s lovely keyboards, and Maria’s enchanting backing harmonies, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

On “Headrest“, strummed acoustic guitars and cheerful rhythms create a lighthearted backdrop for the rather bittersweet lyrics about a relationship that may have reached its end: “I don’t have the skills that I need to recover your faith and trust, but this is the best I can do with the lessons I’ve learned in life. I understand we’re in a tricky situation. A song and a smile are not the solution. If your ears are burning this might be the reason. Just this once we tried love, we tried grace, we had hope, we had faith, I found work, we had sex, I’m not sure there’s anything left.”

Binary” is a brief but upbeat, guitar-driven song with a bouncy melody and sweet lyrics describing a relationship where both partners have long-settled into a comfortable routine that many of us in long-term relationships can identify with: “Turn the light out it’s on your side. Turn the light out it’s in my eyes. And I’ll let you know if I need you now.” On the poignant ballad “Good“, Tim tenderly sings to a loved one of his love and devotion in spite of the hurt he’s caused, accompanied by melancholy piano keys and strummed guitars.

Another favorite of mine is “Deluge“, with it’s bouncy bass-driven groove, lively strummed acoustic guitars, melodic mellotron, and Tim’s spirited taps on the cajón (a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru). Tim assures his romantic partner of his love and devotion as they face the perils of war and conflict: “I have touched you everywhere. we have spoken in the dark. We have talked about so many things and you, you are perfect as you are The sky’s alight with bombers, and the truth is withheld from us, I don’t know what to believe. The train is at the station, and the soldiers keep us safe from everything that would destroy us.”

The album closes with the tender love song “Touch“, in which Tim serenades his romantic partner of his fervent affection: “The beat of your heart a light in the dark. When I hear you laugh I’m tongue-tied.” Pete Long’s warm saxophone gives the track a nice jazzy touch (no pun intended!). It’s a fine ending for a delightful, well-crafted collection of songs written and sung from the heart.

Connect with Tim:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

Find his music on BandcampApple Music / SoundcloudYouTube

8 thoughts on “TIM EVELEIGH – Album Review: “A Record”

  1. jai

    I would opt for quality over quantity any day. And it sounds like he has so many interests, it’s hard to concentrate on just one. I say, do why makes you happy.


  2. Pingback: Unashamedly Left-Wing: A Conversation with Tim Eveleigh – Abominations

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