Brave Timbers began life as a solo project for multi-instrumentalist Sarah Kemp but on Hope Andrew Scrogham joins to flesh out her subtle compositions with mournful piano. This vinyl LP from Gizeh draws on ambient and neo-classical forms, the piano and violin create a dream-like atmosphere, but Kemp also knows how to write emotive and memorable melodies.
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Brave Timbers, then: Newcastle-based duo, originally started as a solo project by multi-instrumentalist Sarah Kemp; now including Andrew Scrogham. Sun-dappled minimal instrumental pieces dominate here, with gentle piano and violin encircling one another, to evoke a pastoral mood wherein it's perpetually mid-summer. And, although the record is beautifully played, has all the right codas in all the right places for music broadly described as minimal post-classical, my one criticism would be that there's little variety of mood here. Not necessarily a bad thing when the overall feeling you get is of tranquility and imagery of calm lakes bordered by lush, green deciduous woodland abounds. Despite its beauty, there just aren't any real emotional peaks or troughs.
"Seasons Past" adds picked acoustic guitar to the mix of violins. But you really, really need to love the sound of violins to be able to live with and enjoy this record. This will be of interest if you are a fan of both A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Vivaldi. Of its type, this is a sound, competent and very pretty record.
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