Lonely Tourist - I Live Where You Are
By Nick Chaffey
Being a Glaswegian singer-songwriter, you might expect Paul Tierney aka Lonely Tourist to sound an awful lot like Malcolm Middleton. And, in a good way, he does. But thereâ€™s more to him than that.
While his singing voice is reminiscent of everyoneâ€™s favourite ex-Arab Strap grump (mostly due to the shared accent, admittedly), Tierneyâ€™s songs have more in common with more energetic and adventurous folk-rock acts like Frightened Rabbit or the Mountain Goats. And latest single â€˜I Live Where You Areâ€™ might be his best work to date. It certainly serves its purpose as a lead-single from a forthcoming album by giving a new listener an immediate feel of what Lonely Tourist does best, while also showing established fans how his music has developed in the fourteen months since debut album â€˜Sir, I Am a Good Manâ€™, particularly on the production side of things.
Itâ€™s a rattler of a song; starting fast and never slowing down (save for a short bridge before the final third). The tight snare drum and chug of muted guitar strings bringing a touch of Dan Sartain-style rockabilly to the mix. Like Middleton, Tierney vocalises in a mumbly sprechgesang in the opening verse, not quite singing or speaking, giving the impression that this song could be somewhat ordinary.
And then the chorus kicks in. The guitar becomes double-tracked, string instruments are brought in to add an extra edge, and Tierneyâ€™s voice opens up, allowing the chorus to be a bright counter-point to the darkness of the verses. This all happens in the first 30 seconds. The song is short (at just over two minutes), but this works to Lonely Touristâ€™s advantage, inviting listeners to spin it again and again. And you will.