Fras McGovern – Tales of Head Trauma (2021)

Fras McGovern has put together a rather unique and spooky ballad in ‘Tales of Head Trauma’. All about fear and delusion, he twists his sound around a jazzy flair. Coming from the perspective of a person with a skewed view of reality, it also touches on feelings of paranoia and succumbing to misinformation.

While McGovern has been writing and playing music for years, this is his first released recording. Before the pandemic, he played in bands and at open mic nights around Glasgow. With this no longer being possible, he turned to recording his material and releasing it under his own name. With a somewhat sinister twist, he is paying a dark homage to Bond themes.

‘Tales of Head Trauma’ uses an atmospheric opening to draw you into the song. The piano line has a slightly off-kilter feeling to it that you can’t quite put your finger on. The richness of Bond-style songs can be felt in the movement of the melody, but this is washed with a spookier indie vibe. As the piano line is joined by the drums, you are hit with that jazzy flair. Just when the music starts to build there is a sudden drop that leaves you reeling. The arrangement of the melody is wonderful as it leads you in many directions while filling you with a subtle confusion of which way is forward.

McGovern’s vocals dance across the piano line when they enter. The off-kilter feeling of the melody finds a match in the delivery of the lyrics which bring the feeling of a skewed view of reality to your ears. His performance has a rising feeling of paranoia before the drop in the melody takes you in a completely different direction. When this occurs, you are faced with an almost plea to break free from the darkness that has overcome the narrative.

Fras McGovern moves from spooky atmospherics to gentle pleas and a warped sense of reality in ‘Tales of Head Trauma’. The piano-driven melody is awash with subtleties that bring a jazzy flair and ominous atmospherics. His vocals continue the slightly off-kilter feeling of the melody while slipping into the delusion of the lyrics.

Find out more about Fras McGovern on his website, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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