M. Craft plans his music in a lonely desert cabin: his sound is very much a personal response to this beloved isolation. Bloodmoon began as several hours of piano improvisations, which were then cut down and pressed into the format of proper songs, with Craft’s vocals, percussion from Seb Rochford and some sweeping orchestral arrangements completing the picture. On Heavenly.
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Moving away from the constant clang of fixed wheel bikes and clink of craft ale glasses that soundtracks Dalston life to the near silence of Joshua Tree must have been quite the shock to the system for Martin Craft and as a result his music has changed inordinately.
This his third solo record has been created using a piano rather than the previous fingerpicked guitar. The title track itself is a thing of wonder, a gorgeously composed opus that sits somewhere between Sufjan Stevens and These New Puritans circa ‘ Field of Reeds’. This is ambitious grandiose music that takes it’s time. ‘Chemical Trail’ too is absolutely lovely, pretty interlocking pianos and guitars are mixed with swirling strings and gorgeous vocal harmonies that recall the Beach Boys on ‘Summer’s Gone’, the track builds in intensity and is rather otherworldly as though it’s being beamed in from the night sky.
Craft’s voice is a delicious thing - he sings softly and assuredly and seems to pull the music back from being too sweet. The pianos can be a little chocolate box at times but even though the vocals are pretty they take the music in a whole new direction from the pleasant neo-classical that the music would be without them. The album has the kind of magical spell that Mercury Rev often aim for but with less Disney.
It’s a really interesting album that I want to spend more time with than my allotted review slice allows as it appears to have myriad magical charms up its wizard sleeve.
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- Blood Moon by M. Craft
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