Purveyor of gentle electronica and lover of hexagons Richard Neale presents his new album EVES via the charmingly-named Rain Bear Records. Piano leads layers of weightless vocals and ambient sections throughout these somnolent, folk-tinged numbers. Mastered by the excellent James Plotkin, the CD comes housed in swell die-cut hexagonal packaging.
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Here’s something (gently) intense for you. Yes, Richard Neale's kind of intensity is the of the variety that creeps up on you, stealthily revealing its harmonic qualities layer by layer. Like wrapping yourself up in more and more clothing, just as we’ll soon all need to do before leaving the house. Sure enough, the opening track of EVES is called ‘Before The Deafening Snow’, and it coaxes us down a wintry lane wending between cottages with the soft murmurings of birdsong, clearly audible through the crisp air, from the surrounding charcoal-outlined trees.
Piano leads the way, with hushed melodic voices, angelic choirs stepping up with a circular post-rock power behind them. ‘Somewhere In The Dead Of Night’ reminds me of Mogwai at their most fragile, if they were led by Nils Frahm that is. ‘Waiting To Land’ is made up of the most beautiful and delicately haunting piano, lilting acoustic guitar and surging voice. It’s a tender thing. There’s a unifying, dreamlike quality to the music throughout; heightened by the quiet vocals, slowly building to warm choirs on tracks like ‘Young Adult’ with its addition of folk-like percussion and traditional instrumentation, small bells and creeping flourishes of woodwind.
An altogether warming record for your forthcoming chilly times. I hope you have a nice cosy wooly jumper and a mug of something mulled to hand.
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- EVES by Richard Neale
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