Steve Robinson + Ed Woltil, “Love Somebody” from Cycle (2015): One Track Mind

Share this:

If “Love Somebody” sounds like XTC doing Bob Dylan, well, there’s a reason for that. Steve Robinson, a former sideman with Dylan acolyte Roger McGuinn, began this track as an idiosyncratic echo of Bob’s unmissable style — before fleshing it out as a fun moment of folk-pop with help from Ed Woltil and Dave Mattacks, the latter of whom joined XTC for 1991’s Nonsuch.

Ultimately, Robinson’s turns of phrase draw a straight line back to that mid-’60s period when fizzy wordplay worked as a regular foundation for hit songs, but with a distinctly modern feel girding it. You certainly hear a touch of Bob Dylan in lines like, “You don’t need a therapist to show you how to love somebody; don’t need to be a poet or evangelist to love somebody true.” But Steve Robinson, who first worked with Ed Woltil on the Ditchflowers’ 2006 triumph Carried Away, goes a step further: “You don’t need to be a Beatle or Bee Gee to love somebody; you don’t need permission just to let it be,” giving a meta wink to this compulsively listenable romp.

Woltil added a brightly inviting Epiphone Casino guitar and a touch of orchestral flair, while Mattacks — who rose to fame with Fairport Convention before starting a well-regarded sessions career that’s also seen him work with Paul McCartney, Elton John and George Harrison — imbues “Love Somebody” with its sunlit propulsion.

“Love Somebody” advances Cycle, a full-length collaboration from Sunshine Drenchy Records between Steve Robinson and Ed Woltil. Elsewhere, listen for guest work by Dave Gregory, whose two-decade stint with XTC included the Nonsuch project with Mattacks. Steve Connelly, a former collaborator with Steve Robinson in the Headlights, served as producer.

Share this: