Phil Stoodley was given his first guitar at the age of fifteen, after his dad ‘got lucky’ at the horses. By seventeen he was bashing out tunes in a heavy metal rock band and making a name for himself at pubs and festivals, throughout the lower North Island of New Zealand. Phil went on to spend the best part of his youth dedicating himself to working as a musician, traveling across New Zealand in various cover bands.
During the early 2000’s Phil was touring the UK, Europe, US and Asia as a session player for one of New Zealand’s best loved and multi platinum selling band’s The Feelers. he also brought together and fronted the rock band STOODS, winners of the New Zealand Battle of the Bands, which also found him scooping up the “Best Songwriter” and “Best Singer” awards. Phil’s various musical projects went on to support a number of leading international bands such as Velvet Revolver, Simple Minds and Jimmy Barnes.
Recently Phil has been touring, performing, writing, and adding weight to his already heavy pack of experience. Now he has released his fully-fledged debut solo album, ‘No Surprise’.
The thing about Phil Stoodley is, he’s good at what he does. He’s a passionate singer with a great range, a competent guitar player, and a gifted lyricist. He keeps his melodies clear and simple, which allows him to flex the emotions of his voice, and allowing the listener to explore the full depth and weight of his lyrics. Stoodley serves as a role model for what singer-songwriters should be. Quite simply, “No Surprise” is a fantastic album. It’s cohesive and Phil appears completely comfortable with his sound and moods.
The two songs that frame this album are “Say What You Mean” and “Walk Forward In Motion.” They both reveal Stoodley’s stoic performances within totally contrasting arrangements. On the first, Phil delivers his strident vocals across a challenging acoustic-guitar and piano riff, while on the second, he glides through a sophisticated, Peter Gabriel sounding, pop-electro-rock production, with similar ease and shine.
Like every great artist, Phil simply asks his listener to sit back, absorb, and enjoy the ride. And the thing that I like most about Stoodley’s music, is that his songs have personal themes, they don’t motivate you to change the world, they inspire you to change yourself!
It’s the type of music you can listen to and reflect on yourself, through innovative musical arrangements and imaginative lyrical content. Phil doesn’t do anything complex, and probably because its not complex, anyone can appreciate it. He uses basic chord progressions but allures the listener with his talent in delivering great texture and tones across his verses. Listen to “Stormy Weather,” or the title track, “No Surprise” to appreciate his somewhat unique vocal twists and genre blends.
Phil Stoodley is like a breath of fresh air considering the insidious-garbage which currently seems to proliferate the mainstream music industry. Add this to his unassuming-demeanor, original voice and lyrics that nurture the soul, and it becomes easy to say that Stoodley exemplifies what a great music artist is all about. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Download, “No Surprise” right away. It will be an excellent addition to your collection. Highly recommended!
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