From the album’s very first moments, it becomes crystal clear it would be a tight and punchy record, full of earthen, country-inspired goodness, inventive instrumental cues, and tasteful production. Let’s talk more about how The Levy Circus’s Tales of the Unconnected turned out to be.

A British band specializing in folk and country with a distinct flair of rock, The Levy Circus are based in the town of Market Harborough, in Leicestershire, and is formed of a few medical professors and a few world-class musical talents. You know, the basic band composition. The Levy Circus have been playing together for about 10 years, experiencing different member combinations and harboring a healthy musical community within them.

Fronted by the words and voice of Miles Levy, a professor of endocrinology in Leicester, and supported by the songs and guitar work of Graham Jones, a Leicester school teacher. Ammar Al-Chalabi on the drums is a professor in Neurology, and the lineup is completed with Eddie Giacobbe and Oscar Muto on the bass and keyboards, respectively.

The music on Tales of the Unconnected is extremely warm. Featuring a blend of mostly upbeat tonalities and compositions, roomy-sounding mixes with organic instruments, reaffirming words that do not sound tacky, and an endless amount of interesting musical ideas. From the first moments of the album, with the bangs that start ‘Looking Like Myself Again’, it becomes clear that the band are able to twist a catchy melody and are able to lock into a groove. It pleases me to report that this readily extends further than the album’s first 10 seconds. In fact, this sense of confident and comfortable musicianship covers the entire album, making it such a rewarding listen.

With clean electric guitars carrying the grunt of delivering the album’s chord sequences and musical melodies, the keyboards stay for the bigger part on creamy pads that create a soft and subtle background. The beats and the bass are consistently in lock, just like they should be on an organic, rock-inspired offering such as Tales of the Unconnected. One of the album’s first half’s stand-out tunes is ‘Danger Zone’. With its country shuffle and its immediately attractive vocal melody, touching on the melancholic, it is a directly catchy song with a great interplay between the twangy guitar and an accordion-like instrument that showcases the band’s lack of conformity. One of the earlier songs which displays the extent of what The Levy Circus are capable of. A bustling gem.

‘Slow It Right Down’ has a great electric guitar line, nearly a riff, that’s clean, gentle, and gracefully carries the song along through its first half, almost unaccompanied. The booming bass and brushed snare then come in, turning the song into one of the album’s more serene offerings. Even after the drums bloom fully, ‘Slow It Right Down’ remains one of the album’s calmer and gentler songs. ‘Casting Shadows’ sees the band turn fully inward. Building upon a delicate acoustic guitar, and finger-picked line, this slow waltz fully explores the depth of the melancholy the band has. Sad and contemplative, ‘Casting Shadows’ talks about loneliness, and sounds a lot like it. A haunting song.

Later in the album a few gems also show up. ‘Seriously’ is a song that gently heaves from humble beginnings to lush and fulfilling endings. Mostly built around guitars arranged and layered rhythmically in support of Levy’s voice, accompanied by a buoyant bass line, this is one of the album’s more inventive and interesting offerings for sure. ‘On My Way Home’, the album’s penultimate song features one of the folkiest arrangements. With mandolins and fiddles playing a major role in the song’s rhythmic tapestry, this tavern-calling song is definitely a sound the band should explore further in future releases. Their blending of the gentle, singer-songwriter sound with driving beats and those instruments is absolutely stunning.

The Levy Circus conceived this album during lockdown, experiencing serious songwriting chemistry, recording demos that only got professionally recorded after an acquaintance of Levy heard something special in the music and implored him to take it further, driving the band to record the album professionally at Woodworm Studios, previously owned by the legendary Fairport Convention, under the watchful eye of producer Michael Smith. The resulting sound is incredibly mature, nothing short of stunning. A healthy album full of ideas and full of passion through each of the album’s 12 songs. A promising debut.