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Another of these youngsters brandishing a form of sad, soulful confessional chamber pop for these strained times, this young south Londoner looking to dust his work with something a little bit special. It's hard in this over-peopled musical climate to make a difference but he's certainly trying to make his own distinctive voice heard beyond the rabble. Sam Howard casts elegiacal shapes indeed, loo ...

LP £13.49 NPIP028

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Ark by Halls
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Brian Staff review, 19 October 2012

Another of these youngsters brandishing a form of sad, soulful confessional chamber pop for these strained times, this young south Londoner looking to dust his work with something a little bit special. It's hard in this over-peopled musical climate to make a difference but he's certainly trying to make his own distinctive voice heard beyond the rabble.

Sam Howard casts elegiacal shapes indeed, loosely confined within the walls of brittle, contemplative electronica but he brings an almost choral classical grace to his tender melancholic musings, the sad, deep swells of tear-streaked organ and stately faux-cello are incredibly affecting.

Obvious contemporary reference points would be The xx, Thom Yorke, Steve Mason, Burial and Mount Kimbie but I'm reminded in outlook of a more sombre take on lost Planet Mu lad Julian Fane and especially a beautiful song once unleashed on Static Caravan by Ampop.

So...this album is a very good record, possibly not worth quite the level of hyperbole thrown at it thus far but nevertheless Sam's world-weary voice - being the sound of an ex-choirboy who has suddenly realised all the ills of the planet earth are down to him and his fellow travellers, blended with this epic soundtrack of yearning dystopia will surely make an impression on the current "scene", or whatever this exploded bag of genre-blurring chaos you choose to name the current music climate as...




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