Posted by Aphra Magazine on 29/8/15.
Indie folk has just taken a refreshing turn through Tim Wheatley’s melodious self-titled album Cast of Yesterday. He pours his heart and soul into it, nurturing it with his smooth vocals as he takes a trip down memory lane and reminisces over his fifteen year journey as a developing music artist, memories of his friends and other life encounters – all things that have shaped the person he is today.
The album begins with ‘The Heathen’, which consists of flowing and mellow acoustics that are juxtaposed with harmonicas to give off that country twang, a combination that certainly makes this song endearing to its listeners. ‘I found him too long off the sunset, long before the dawn. Too long after sunset, long before the dawn,’ Tim croons in the chorus. ‘78 Benz’ comes next, opening with Tim gently strumming his guitar as he sings about discovering his purpose in the world through his music: ‘You stopped to smell the roses, and your 20s got away’.
‘Valerie’ is one of the most significant songs on the album that Tim released earlier this month as a single. It is a beauty of a track, lulling us into a trance-like state with its gentle acoustics and Tim’s soft vocals. His voice trembles with sadness as he sings about the ambivalent emotions that torment a mother who has sent her son away. ‘I bet you don’t breathe easy and now that’s he’s gone, because you sure don’t sleep easy knowing he’s wrong,’ Tim sings, as we bear the weight of those conflicting emotions. This story was inspired from a book Tim had read called ‘Delinquent Angel’, which orientates around Shelton Lee’s sad story, and the video clip features Tim’s good friend Jessica McNamee (Packed to the Rafters), who embodies the role of a conflicted mother.
‘Cast of Yesterday’ is another standout track, and represents the unleashing of his past experiences and how they have shaped his present. The track features sugary sweet acoustics and Tim’s smooth vocals. The central lyric, ‘I’m just happy with the sun on my shoulders’, is inspired by a man he met during his travels, named Livingston. Tim then sings, ‘I think back to the cast of yesterday, the real stars don’t hit, they ricochet’, and this emphasises the idea that great influences don’t necessarily stick around for long – they may just linger briefly and that can be enough for them to become a significant source of inspiration.
‘The Other Woman’ reverberates with that harmonica-driven country twang that makes Tim’s music so distinctive, and combines different sound elements in a unique composition. ‘She never meant to be the other woman, it’s not like she set out to be the other woman,’ Tim sings in the chorus. ‘Burning The Midnight Oil’ showcases a more upbeat chorus that is followed by a fun country beat, as Tim playfully sings, ‘Go on go chase the things you lust, there’s a bit of whore in all of us, I won’t tell if you won’t tell, I won’t tell if you won’t tell’.
‘The Messenger’ features more of those gentle and rhythmic acoustics, and Tim soulfully begins the song with, ‘She was hotter than the Georgia asphalt, now her heart’s gone cold for me. I used to take the short cut home, now I play till the last man leaves’. That rhythm then soars as the harmonicas come out to play, once again emphasising that country feel that is the cherry on top with all of his compositions.
Last but not least, Tim finishes his album with ‘The Way Of The Gun’, and it is soft and almost delicate in nature, and his beautiful lyricism is made even more evident here as he reflects upon his once conflicted perspective on romance: ‘I was aboard the death of romance, three sails to the wind, I passed up my chance, ask anyone, just ask anyone.’ This is a wonderful and heartfelt album that gazes into Tim’s past and how it has influenced the person he is today. You can bask in the album’s warmth by giving it a listen. You won’t be disappointed.
Tim Wheatley – Cast of Yesterday is out now.