Recent listening


Not much has cut through of late and recent purchases have been a bit disappointing but suddenly, like buses, two come along at once.  I am a staunch Richard Hawley fan so with his much anticipated fourth release, Lady’s Bridge, hitting the record Shops in August I was down there like a rat up a drainpipe and then rushing home to a mildly excited Mrs G exclaiming my love for her with a selfless present.

“It’s not for you then?” was the curt response.

Suffice it to say it was, on first listening, a major disappointment.

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None of the texture of Coles Corner; fewer great songs; or so it seemed.  But believe me when I say this dear reader, “This is a grower of exponential force.”

I won’t bore you with the track listing details as they are meaningless unless you’ve heard the songs (so why do music critics always do that?) .

Taken as a whole the album does indeed have fewer peaks and troughs than the glorious Coles Corner.  It’s more evenly paced and textured, but it still has a huge range of emotional intensity, magnificent arrangements and drop dead melodies.  This is a great album by anyone’s standards and he deserves the success that has long eluded him.

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Singer songwriter, Stephanie Dosen grew up on a Peacock Farm on Wisconsin (Stop right there. Ed) To say she is off the mainstream is a bit of an understatement as the following quote demonstrates.

 “I know it sounds completely wacky” – but, you get the feeling that strange is her way. “I’m kind of a random person: I follow little white rabbits down holes,” she says. “I let the thing be what it is. I let things grow. I’m very much a gardener, I’m not a builder. I don’t construct things, I just sow seeds and let things grow, out of my control.”

Whoa.  Not good.

But wait, stay with me.

First things first, her album A lily for the Spectre (I know, I know) is released on the same independent label as the peerless Midlake. That’s a good start.
It’s singer songwriter material and has been compared (as usual lazily) to Kate Bush.  Yes, she sings in a soprano voice but the comparisons stop there.  More appropriate might be the comparisons to Liz Fraser but these are wide of the mark too.

The nearest reference I can give you, and I think it’s a good one, is Espers. (whose Espers II is another grower).

It’s all a bit ethereal, but there is a time and a place for that and, for me there are quite a few of those.  Cooking, working, chilling.

Admittedly it only has one gear and low torque but who needs torque when you’ve got great cruise control (tedious analogy.  Ed)

Buy it.  Buy it now.

Thanks for the recommendation Pat Rodger!