Preview: Stephen Fretwell

While Fretwell won’t be the biggest party animal at the Fringe, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more mesmerising performer

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 1 minute
Published 10 Aug 2007

Before you ask, yes, he’s substantially more interesting than Damien Rice. True, at first glance, Stephen Fretwell doesn’t look like the most earth-shattering of singers - the Bob Dylan curls and the acoustic guitar don’t exactly scream ‘zeitgeist’ - but if you’re looking for of the moment, disposable thrills, you’re in the wrong place.

Fretwell crafts starkly beautiful songs which, given their more traditional arrangements, sound refreshing and strangely out of place amid the noise and confusion of the current musical trends. Debut album Magpie saw radio-friendly single Emily become a hit and landed him support slots with Oasis, but his new offerings are distinctly darker.

The Four Letter Words EP, released earlier this year as a taster for his forthcoming second album, saw him move from the melancholy to the downright unsettling. And while Fretwell won’t be the biggest party animal at the Fringe, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more mesmerising performer.