I have been a massive fan of The Recreation for just over a year now. On the 3rd July they released a six track EP called “For Tessa, With Affection, April ’76”. The Oldham band have quickly made a name from themselves over the past few years through touring the UK and releasing songs like “Do You Want Me?”, “English Weather” and “Jealous Lovers”. I first listened to the EP on a rainy day down by the sea and fell in love with it! It has been on my Spotify since.
The EP was inspired by an inscription inside a Leonard Cohen poetry book that singer Owen Baldwin bought from a charity shop just before lockdown. The inscription reads “For Tessa, with affection, April ’76. From Larry”. The theme of love and hope that both Tessa and Larry had for the future becomes prominent in Owen’s song writing which comes to form the EP.
Pink Floyd were also a solid influence for Owen when writing the EP and this is also conveyed within the artwork. Owen talks about how, when Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ was released in the 70’s, it echoed how money made the world go round and now 40 years later the world is still the same in many ways. Owen wrote and recorded all the songs during lockdown and it’s fair to say he’s done a grand job of it!
The EP opens with the track “Killer”. The opening lyrics are “For Tessa, With Affection, April 76” which clearly sets the theme of the EP and demonstrates that it will be a something very special. The hauntingly beautiful guitar melodies, mixed with Owen’s soulful tone, makes the track stand out and leaves the listener wanting more. It’s the perfect opening tune for a stand out EP.
The EP then follows onto “remember the future? (interlude)”. Owen speaks over a soft piano melody describing the similarities that Tessa and Larry went through in the 70’s compared to now. He describes the reality of the world we live in today during lockdown with passionate words like “politicians are still playing silly buggers with real peoples lives, still seems like their biggest fear to see the ordinary thrive” which emphasises Owen’s view on the current climate in the UK. “the summer of love stripped from beneath our noses, now look at us, fucking jockers” relates to many people today who are struggling with missing the summer due to lockdown and being restricted to what they are doing. The piece finishes on a positive note, reminding us that there will be better times ahead with “Remember the future is coming”. This track will pull a heartstring and it’s impressive to see a young band expressing their strong opinions through music, while still showing people that there will always be a positive at the end.
The EP then rolls onto “Till The Night” which has more attitude. The sassy groove that runs throughout the song creates a different feel to previous singles by The Recreation, but shows the growth in the band over the past few years. “Listen To Yourself” is next up. It opens with some Ocean Colour Scene vibes and stands out to be a classic rock belter! I can’t wait to hear this tune live. “Thursday 8pm (interlude)” is a short elegant piano melody which allows a short break to sit back and relax.
Personally, “Always” is my favourite track on the EP! I absolutely love it, I could listen to it on repeat all day. Owen’s soulful voice shines through within the track. The song builds up to the chorus where the meaning of the EP shines out.
“For Tessa, With Affection, April ’76” is a solid work of art by The Recreation. The songs flow beautifully into each other and tell an intimate story of two lovers.
The band have new merchandise that can be bought with the EP artwork and slogans.
The Recreation have a busy year ahead of them continuing to tour the UK and release new music. Keep an eye on their social media accounts for future announcements.
You can also keep an eye on their Youtube channel for future music videos. Here’s the bands music video for their last single “Do You Want Me?”. I can’t wait till gigs are back up and running to see The Recreation live again!