• Max Burt


Mellow, groovy, alternative indie-jazz artist Fergus Channell recruits fellow West Midlands masterminds Demelza for his third single 'Slow Motion'.

"You may have got my mind / But you ain't got nowhere with my heart", cozily sing Fergus and Cherry, Demelza's vocalist - though that statement certainly isn't true of my relationship with this track. Having deftly and comfortably captured both my mind and my heart, 'Slow Motion' has cemented that Birmingham is currently home to some of the best new songwriting talent in the UK. Just a fortnight ago, we featured fellow Midlander Jack Frohlich and his jazzy, groovy, playful style; now, we get more mellow, but still keep to that delicious indie-jazz feel that attests to the soul and standard of Birmingham's musical craft.

A track written both about, and in the context of, the mind-muddling effect of a global pandemic, the title 'Slow Motion' reflects just that - the distortion of time, our sense of self, as well as our interactions with others. Fergus and Cherry crafted their tranquil vocal melodies over video calls, meaning even within the process of writing 'Slow Motion', the lyrical matter discusses itself. Very meta! Indeed, Fergus writes:

“The subject matter felt relevant when in the creative process itself we were unable to write in the usual way of being in one place together."

Over impeccably groovy drums, jangly guitar chords and atmospheric bass, Fergus and Cherry nimbly alternate whose voice comes to the fore, and whose voice adds supporting layers. On your first listen, you'll be impressed by the pair's seemingly effortless cool - and on the second, you'll listen closer to their thoughtful lyrics. Unlike the myriad lockdown dirges written over the past year, 'Slow Motion' takes the elements of our altered lives and develops them intellectually, discussing anxiety, political frustration, and romantic nostalgia. It is incredibly refreshing to hear an emotive, reflective, and insightful take on lockdown life - and is undoubtedly my favourite track that does so. Give it a listen!

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