David Allred’s The Transition arrives on Erased Tapes (A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Nils Frahm). There’s a nice interplay of chamber composition, folk music and close harmony going on here. ‘The Garden’, for instance, is the sort of thing you imagine Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears might have got up to were they alive today.
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Here’s an album which, on initial listen of the promo copy with the reviewing ‘phones, confused our equipment a bit... but it’s OK now. Coming through on both left and right channels and sounding pretty fine and dandy is this new album from David Allred. His latest record is doubly-delightfully surprising, in that ‘The Transition’ is Allred’s very assured debut solo full-length; with its sparse -- almost wintry -- feel, yet infused with pervading, warming arrangements that make for the most gorgeously atmospheric salon-pop.
Allred vocalises with a delicate humanity and relates, through his songs, a collection of profoundly haunting melodies -- in an understated, yet crisp delivery that very quickly endears you to him. It’s a knack which boosts the power of the music to affect the listener and possibly evoke images of misty hills as viewed from the comfort and warmth of a cozily heated front room. Those close harmonies are wonderful -- I’m listening to track 6, ‘The Garden’ and picturing a medieval Beach Boys. Bare-bones arrangements include Allred’s very own, tenderly played hearthside piano, with the occasional muted trumpet and a guitar distantly strummed; sometimes underpinned by emotional, bolstering strings courtesy of friend Peter Broderick as on ‘The Mirror of Time’ which is just lovely.
There’s some genuinely impressive songwriting on display here, a total of 10 songs which in sequence make for a very fine set of chamber-folk. A return to form for Erased Tapes, too.
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