Regular EIO40 contributor and publishing partner John Hartley (@JohnyNocash) has been rather taken by the latest offering from Deerful. Here is what he has to say…


Tell Me I Can Fix This On My Own

Sometimes in life less is more. This is certainly the case with ‘Tell Me I Can Fix This On My own’, the latest collection of songs from London-based Emma Winston under the guise of Deerful. Sparse electronic instrumental backing underpins a single, fragile voice across seven songs written, live-coded and recorded over a six week period. 

The end result is an album (mini-album? EP? This debate has been entered into many a time across the EIO40 community) of songs that belie any fears that all the above may invoke. The songs do not sound rushed, neither do they sound lacking. They express a gently naïve charm over a musical soundtrack that would fit a Sunday morning perfectly but not exclusively. Melodies are carefully considered and whilst nothing is put in that could be taken out, so too exists the feeling that if more was added it would only detract.

There is a slightly melancholic tinge to the ambience, with vocal melody lines that at times bring to mind comparisons with Harriet Wheeler (‘The Seaside Town’) or Stornoway’s Brian Briggs (opener ‘Loop’.)  Musically there are comparisons to be made with the delicate electronic instrumentals of Stephen Jones. 

Catchy even on first listen, the appeal of ‘Tell Me I Can Fix This On My Own’ continues to grow beyond, and earworms start to form and wriggle into the subconscious – second track ‘Bloom’ and the almost onomatopoeic ‘Perseids’ being prime examples.

This album came to our attention via a general tweet from Emma which managed to possibly encapsulate the unwritten definition of what it means to be ‘indie’, involving as it did admission of general chaos and reluctant self-promotion.

‘Tell Me I Can Fix This On My Own’ by Deerful is released on September 1st  via iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, Tidal and “all the usual suspects plus a few others”. 

You can purchase “Tell Me I Can Fix This On My Own” at Deerful Bandcamp page and you can also discover more about her at these links




John Hartley is the author of “Capturing The Wry”, an autobiographical tale of the unsigned side of the music industry, published by i40Publishing and available here. After spending the best part of twenty five years trying to write the perfect pop song he has also turned his attention to writing about those who have done a much better job at it. He tweets as @JohnyNocash and gives away his music, generally for free, at Broken Down Records.


We hope you’ve enjoyed reading John’s review. If you would like to review something new, whether it’s new material or a re-issue then please contact us via email or Twitter @IndieOver40