Peter Bruntnell: King of Madrid – More nuggets from an unsung hero of Americana

The UK singer-songwriter takes a sidestep into 1960s-flavoured pop and psychedelia

King of Madrid
    
Artist: Peter Bruntnell
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Domestico Records

UK-based songwriter Peter Bruntnell has been digging away at the coalface of marginal success for so long that his features must be permanently coated with dust. Over the course of almost 25 years, he has mostly worked in the classic Americana area, but here, on his 10th album, he deviates from that somewhat with delicate steps into 1960s-flavoured pop and psychedelia.

The latter is all over tracks such as Dinosaur (which rips the heart out of The Monkees’ Last Train to Clarksville and neatly mops up the mess) and Snow Queen (a melancholy trip).

Essence of Americana wafts throughout songs such as Memory Hood and the superb title track, the latter of which is so imbued with lachrymose, sliding pedal steel guitar (courtesy of the distinguished BJ Cole) that you’re inclined to slip into self-pitying reverie.

As with all of his work to date, Bruntnell’s strike rate is inordinately high, and how he has never gone beyond cult status continues to puzzle.


The only downside to such creative worth is that you know exactly what to expect. No big deal.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture