‘Summer Time Bliss’ by Neal Hoffmann (Single)

12 August, 2016 in Music Reviews

Neal Hoffmann

Neal Hoffmann: wonders if the sunshine will ever return

These two carefully constructed indie-folk tracks do more than enough to showcase the subtle talents of this gifted singer songwriter

Neal Hoffmann 'Summer Time Bliss' coverTaken from the London-based singer-songwriter’s solo debut album, Untrained Heart, comes this lament for lost days. A plaintive plucked guitar accompanies Hoffmann as he wonders if the sunshine will ever return and whether a current relationship is the cause of his never-ending winter.

Summer Time Bliss builds to the line, “I can’t help but wonder if I’m wasting all my oh so precious time with you.” And it’s a question which turns this seasonal ditty into something much more personal and poignant. Backing vocals arrive to add weight to Hoffmann’s quandary: if the summer isn’t going to return, then perhaps it’s time to move on.

B-side Vanity And Pride is a bluesier number, which again finds the singer seeking answers. This time he sings: “Have we had our time/Is our future in the past?” The main guitar is augmented with cello and organ before a short guitar solo provides a moment for contemplation.

There is much talent behind the simple construction of these two songs. The message is clear without being over the top and, in asking them, Hoffman has announced himself as an indie-folk singer to keep a close eye on.

Verdict: A pair of questioning and carefully crafted songs

Duncan Haskell