More stark yet beautiful alt. folk from Peter Broderick. Colours Of The Night is his first album for Bella Union in three years. Although it still sounds very much like Broderick’s body of solo work, it was conceived via a less familiar route. It was recorded in Switzerland with a group of swiss musicians and was produced by Timo Keller, who is known as a hip-hop producer.
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The crickets chirping on “Red Earth”, the opener to Peter Broderick’s new record ‘Colours of the Night’, raise an interesting question: are Broderick’s surroundings incidental, or are they an affectation? The sounds captured alongside his lonely picking and dulcet vocal harmonising may well be part of his backing band, serving to posit him as a man in conversation with nature. Ultimately, though, I think it makes his songs sound brutally off-hand; as on Jason Molina’s ‘Didn’t It Rain’, a record of sad one-take cuts, it suggests the truth is best told the first time around.
‘Colours of the Night’ gets less stark as it goes on, bringing the more inventive of Brodericks out to play, with violins manoeuvring like a knife being sharpened on “The Reconnection”, which also includes a little bit of synth dittying and wordless vocal cooing. “Colours of the Night” starts all a cappella and builds from what sounds like a Paul Simon campfire song into the next Ben Howard hit. Strands of Broderick’s ambient infatuation come in on “If I Sinned”, which sustains droplet vocal chants before he comes in as chief balladeer.
If those crickets on "Red Earth" promise anything, it’s purity, and ‘Colours of the Night’ is nothing if not a beautiful record, one that almost stifles with the weight of its prettiness, offering songs like “Our Best”, with gorgeous but lethargic slabs of Americana, as well as the buzzing antics of Broderick’s mind in the flashy percussion of "One Way". The songwriting is always there, crackling like a warm open fire.
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