This debut album of autobiographical songs is simple and short with minimalist arrangements built around acoustic guitar and piano. The eleven songs last just under half an hour.
Mr. Alec calls his songs "scar tissue on my skin, owned by me, worn on the outside" and after reflecting on the meaning of life he concludes, not unreasonably, that being alive is better than giving up entirely.
In Hand in Hand he lists all the ways he hopes not to die and the laughter at the end indicates that the gallows humour is meant to be tongue in cheek.
Though he is also a photographer and filmmaker, Bowman identifies himself on his website as a "Master of Nothing". In Patience, this negativity has a positive side: "When you're next to nothing, you've nothing to lose". Potentially this could be as forlorn as Will Oldham's line "When you have no-one, no-one can hurt you" but , here, Bowman manages to convey hope rather than desperation.
In the liner notes be declares that "staying alive is its own kind of bravery" and in the closing song, Never The End Of The World, he affirms that "life is much larger than you". No need to sigh eternally in a Leonard Cohen afterworld just yet.
Mr. Alec Bowman's website