donderdag 17 november 2016

Koffer. Ian Fisher

This spring at the 12,5 years Snowstar Records party in Utrecht I found out that Ian Fisher can rock out as well. With his band of German speaking and dressed country music players, he produced a whole range of different songs. That did not prepare me for the first songs on his new album though.

With the release of Koffer, the second album of Ian Fisher sees the light of day in 2016. A pleasant surprise this speed in releases is. On Koffer Ian Fisher presents himself also as an indie rock singer-guitarist next to the Americana singer-songwriter.

With Koffer another novelty, at least for me, for Ian Fisher comes by. In the title song he sings in German about having everything he owns fits into a koffer, the German (and Dutch) word for suitcase, left behind in Berlin. For an American living in Berlin and Vienna for some time singing in German is not that strange as it may seem at first.

The album starts with a soft country song with light indie rock undertones. The lyric is a variety on The Clash's hitsingle 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go'. In 'If You Wanna Stay' the I person's personal future is in the hands of someone else's decision: "I would not say no". Fate undecided when the song ends. The rock side of Ian Fisher continues with 'Candles For Elvis'. Another convincing song. Not so much original as extremely pleasant to listen to. The already mentioned 'Koffer' is even more raw. There is not a trace of singer-songwriter or Americana left in this song. It is a harsh song, about a harsh life. The life of a travelling salesman in music. Again its rock that trumps here.

'Koffer' returns in a singer-songwriter incarnation. The impact is so much higher as the desolation prompts itself to my face when all around it dissolved. Certainly the winner on points. The electric 'Koffer' is impressive, but the bare naked version has the emotion.

It is with 'Thinkin' About It' that Ian Fisher comes back to the music that was prominent on 'Nero'. The slow tempo with a peddle steel guitar softly whining away and the slowly played piano makes for total unhasting. With such a background no happiness can flourish. It seems all resignation here. Although I hope for the fan of good music that Ian Fisher waits awhile with settling down and the settling of his accounts. What is going on in Koffer is to interesting not to be interested in learning what will follow.

This album is deliciously diverse. A huge strength, I find. Koffer shows that Ian Fisher masters different styles. The more traditional singer-songwriter side is present in several songs, e.g. the country folk of 'Settlin' In', but that is not enough for Koffer. It matches the traditional with a mid tempo rocker with a country flavour like 'Hail Mary'. The album ends with a musical thing from the past. The vocal has a 30s sound, the music holds a jazzy and Hawaiian undertone in the country music. A strange hybrid.

Koffer is an album with two different faces. A small indie rock one, a country rock face and a large singer-songwriter/Americana one. Songs come as they present themselves is my experience and when they're good, they are good. Ian Fisher knows how to make his songs more attractive and it shows on Koffer. Indie Americana? Why not.


You can listen to and buy Koffer here:

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