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Ralegh Long Hoverance Gare du Nord Records
Article written by
Ged M - May 8, 2015
This is a short but ineffably lovely album of pastoral pop, drawing on influences like Nick Drake, the Clientele and Grant McLennan and using mates like Tom Dougall of Toy on guitar, Jack Hayter on pedal steel, and A Little Orchestra to add the big orchestral gestures. The songs have a numinous feel, conjuring up streams and fields, skies and oceans, and making the most creative and poetic use of language, particularly the creation of that mystical and evocative word “hoverance”. It’s captured perfectly in the piano-meditation ‘Song For Matthew’ where Ralegh summons images of country mornings with “rain-soaked fields” before dropping a line of perfect poeticism: “morning trembles to the thrill of birds in flight”.
‘The Light Of The Sun’ is a pensive and philosophical ballad (“are we further from the ever after?”) while ‘The Ride’ rolls out the strings, arranged by El Records’ Louis Philippe, for orchestral pop in a folky 70s style. ‘No Use’ is the perfect 3 minute pop song with a bruised lyric (“it’s no fun holding someone who just doesn’t need to be held”) and Jack Hayter’s sobbing pedal steel adds waves of atmosphere. The ten tracks amount to a consistently excellent debut album of melodic and reflective pop that captures the external world as brilliantly well as it does the internal.