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Here at Norman we’re rather fond of Epic45, and as far as we can tell you guys are too, so it’s a treat when something like this comes in from their Wayside & Woodland imprint. This is the ‘45’s Ben Holton going it alone for a slightly more breezy folk-pop type excursion. That said it’s kind of sleepy, gentle folk pop, with synthesiser touches and smooth backing vocals and the like. It’s reminding me of Erland’s excellent recent Magnetic North album actually, which can only be a good thing since I think that’s one of the most interesting and charming records of its ilk that we’ve seen all year.
The compositions have a leisurely, almost sleepy pacing to them, and the hushed breathy double-tracked vocals often give off an Elliott Smith-esque feel which is lovely too. ‘Sleeves’ has a marvellous shimmering instrumental passage towards its close which has a bit of a krauty feel and offers a kind of halfway intermission from the pure pop expression which dominates the record.
Phil says ‘Say It Again (I’ll Kill You)’ sounds like ELO, but I think it sounds like the Beatles covering a Sparklehorse song. I just told him that and he said, “ELO just ripped off the Beatles anyway I think.” Grandaddy and Hood are also worth mentions here as apparent influences, and the This Heat cover at the end is pretty twee compared to the original and kind of sounds like Hot Chip gone acoustic. Totally charming stuff all the way through, constantly melodic and relaxing and without any filler. Fans of Epic45 and downbeat pop in general should get involved.
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