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Thread: Neil Halstead - Palindrome Hunches

  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States

    Default Neil Halstead - Palindrome Hunches

    online listen
    slipper gaze
    guitar, piano, violin
    every track sounds the same
    pick one, it will sound like the previous one
    sleeper gaze is more like it
    clip was my favorite
    I'll wake you when it's over
    1.2 from me and a converted 2.2 from the pros at allmusic

    from the album - Digging Shelters

    released Sept 11th, 2012

    Bio - from allmusic

    Since releasing some of the finest shoegaze singles and albums of the early '90s with his band Slowdive, Neil
    Halstead has slowly become one of Britain's most respected songwriters. While Slowdive had more to do with sounds
    than songs, the transition that band made into Mojave 3 in the mid-'90s allowed Halstead to further emulate the
    largely late-'60s-based folk-rock songwriters with whom he had become enamored. Along the way, Halstead did
    something of a tightrope act by earning comparisons to those figures without being accused of mere mimicry or
    tiresome revivalism.

    At some point shortly after the release of Mojave 3's third album, 2000's Excuses for Travellers, Halstead found
    himself without normal living quarters (the result of a breakup), and he opted to hang his hat at a studio for a
    couple months. With several orphaned Mojave 3 songs kicking around, Halstead took advantage of his situation and
    recorded them for a possible solo album. He left the studio after finding an actual place of residence and
    periodically ducked back into the studio with a couple friends -- including Mojave 3's Ian McCutcheon, longtime
    associate Mark Van Hoen (Locust), and Coley Park's Nick Holton -- over the following year to finish things off.

    The result, 2002's Sleeping on Roads, traded the oft-cited American touchstones (Bob Dylan, Neil Young) of Mojave 3
    for English touchstones (Bert Jansch, Nick Drake). By the time 4AD released it, Halstead already had designs for a
    follow-up; Oh! Mighty Engine was issued in 2008 on Jack Johnson's Brushfire label. After a long break, Halstead
    returned to the studio with his friend Nick Holton as producer and recorded his next album live over four days' time
    with the Band of Hope backing him. Palindrome Hunches was released by Brushfire in September of 2012.

    Album Review - from allmusic

    On his third solo album, Palindrome Hunches, Neil Halstead strips another layer off his already quiet and subtle
    sound. Sleeping On Roads featured a sound not too far from that of his band Mojave 3, though it was more Nick Drake
    -influenced and hushed; Oh! Mighty Engine cut the instrumentation pretty much in half, and on much of Palindrome,
    he's mainly down to his beautifully rich vocals and acoustic guitar, backed by double bass and sometimes piano.
    There are regular appearances by violins too, but thanks to the dry production and the recorded live feel, the album
    has an immediacy that gives the impression that Neil and his friends are playing in your living room. Call it his
    Pink Moon, only with less desperation. He probably didn't drop off the album unannounced at his label, more likely
    he off-handedly passed the tapes over to his boss (Jack Johnson) after a late afternoon surfing outing. Like the
    rest of his solo work, Palindrome has an easygoing charm and Halstead hasn't lost any of his ability to write catchy
    choruses (especially on "Bad Drug and Minor Chords" and the unusually upbeat "Hey Daydreamer"), to break a heart
    with a harmony, or to create a perfect mood of resigned melancholy. The sparse arrangements this time out mean that
    the songs and Halstead's voice are the focus and he delivers a predictably strong batch that never skimps on melody
    and often reaches beyond the late-night campfire strum to something darker and more foreboding (like minor-chord
    "Tied to You," which features the fullest sound on the album and uses it to great, spooky effect). Mostly, though,
    the album sits in the sweet spot between pleasing to the ear and warming to the heart, with only the slightly-too-
    cute title track letting down the side a touch. As he drifts further from his shoegaze roots with Slowdive and his
    country-pop explorations with Mojave 3, Halstead gets closer to creating music that transmits his bare soul to the
    listener without much sonic trickery to get in the way. In the wrong hands, such a Spartan approach could end up
    boring, but in Halstead's case, it's completely transfixing and true.

    Track Listing

    1. Digging Shelters
    2. Bad Drugs And Minor Chords
    3. Wittgenstein's Arm
    4. Spin The Bottle
    5. Tied To You
    6. Love Is A Beast
    7. Palindrome Hunches
    8. Full Moon Rising
    9. Sandy
    10. Hey Daydreamer
    11. Loose Change

  2. #2


    not a bad linked track MH....

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