The cover of Robert Sotelo's debut album Cusp features an illustration of a guy scrambling after his head through a field of rocks. Illustrated by artist Daniel Sean Kelly, it's an apt depiction of a record that is unexpectedly bold and fascinatingly sincere.
Sotelo is the nom de plume of a 36-year-old English musician Andrew Doig, who by day works as a social worker and at night writes charming pop with an unashamed belief in melody.
Sotelo played every instrument on Cusp and recorded and edited the 12 songs with long time friend John Hannon. Taking some inspiration from Paul McCartney's much maligned 'Ram'-era, it's an album that is playful, intimate and ambitious.
The video for "Let's Transcend", the first track lifted from the album, that is available Sep 1 through Upset the Rhythm, is a low key home recording that features barbecues and dogs playing in water. The everyday familiarity cuts with the psych pop and Sotelo's mid-30s existentialism found in the lyrics. "When we get out of here we're going to start anew baby … let's leave this place, yeah, go transcend maybe", says Sotelo at the end.
'Cusp' is available Sep 1 on Upset The Rhythm.