21 June 2012
listen: the ghost in daylight
Andrew Reinholds reviews a soothing new album by folk outfit Gravenhurst.
Bristol based Nick Talbot is Gravenhurst, and this album, his sixth, sees him step back from his more energetic previous efforts to deliver an altogether quieter and understated effort, but one which still packs a hefty punch, such is the slow burning intensity of most of the material here.
Alternating between whispered hushed vocal over finger picked guitars to Eno influenced space drones and programmed electronics, Talbot’s doomed folk explores modern concerns of urban decay and isolation yet never seems to lose faith in the human spirit.
First single ‘The Prize’ is a perfect example of what Talbot has created – a sublimely paced 6’40” that gradually gathers momentum to its string and feedback laden climax. “The ties that bind us blind us to the emptiness of the prize” – it’s a hollow victory indeed.
Elsewhere is the stunning ‘The Foundry’ – a simple and beautiful melody that hides an unsettling tale of barbarity and destruction – which would not sound out of place on any Nick Drake album. Also worth checking out is the eight minute ambient instrumental ‘Islands’ which trips off hazily into the sunset on a cloud of percussion and synthesizers.
On ‘The Ghost of Saint Paul’ Talbot salutes “the brave, to all those resisting”. Of course, Talbot firmly falls in that same camp – stubbornly persevering, and single-mindedly creating his art that deserves to be appreciated by so many more than it currently is.