With a calm and deep voice, H-Burns finally delivers an album of his own. Night Moves deals with life in a Los Angeles-nighttime, with rich instrumental arrangements provided by Rob Schnapf. Released on vinyl, and sure to awaken a lust for America’s largest, meanest, sprawling and dreamiest West Coast city.
LP £16.99 BEC5156023
LP + CD on Vietnam / Because Music.
CD £11.99 BEC5156022
CD on Vietnam / Because Music.
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- Night Moves by H-Burns
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‘Night Moves’ opens up with a vortex-tearing slice of dad rock that feels almost like the younger, aspiring sibling of the War on Drugs’ “Red Eyes”, full of the same Springsteen urgency, coastline reverb and urgent, brimming guitars -- plus the same vocal yelps and a bunch of lyrics that just roll off H-Burns’ tongue regardless of meaning, so long as the sentiment remains. It’s a folk rock panorama, and though it sounds wholly derivative, it’s bound with gorgeous melodies and a clear throughline that makes it irresistible.
Unlike some recent carbon copies we’ve encountered, such as Mac Demarco’s resolute fanboy Travis Bretzer, H-Burns’ music feels special at the same time as it does a total rip. The guitar tone on the first two songs is engineered as if to specify a debt to Adam Granduciel and his band, and that’s fine -- it’s not like they haven’t already ripped the Waterboys over and over. But ‘Night Moves’ carries H-Burns’ very own urgency and feeling, and that’s enough. By “In The Wee Hours”, a lo-fi acoustic jam with whizzing synths layered atop, this record has proved itself to have a vision of its own, one based around a personal loneliness and the eeriness of empty landscapes. Listening to this record is a solipsistic experience, with one deep, unloved voice singing into the wind, rarely harmonised with. No matter how it’s decorated -- usually with synths and crystalline guitar -- this is a chilling and ultimately solitary listening experience.
We’ve heard this all before, but there’s something peculiar about ‘Night Moves’, a record that ultimately streamlines a bunch of different indie pop conventions and meshes them together. At its best, it sounds like a mix of the War on Drugs, London Grammar, Coldplay and John Maus. It’s not a bill I’d ever pay to see, but thrown through a blender, there’s a beauty to it. Those are quiet artists -- but there’s a disquiet, and a discomfort, in this dramatic music.
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