Harp :: “Albion” – Rolling Stone

Anyone who has not previously been close to the daydream world of Bella Union will now find the right key to get in with catalog number 1521. On the one hand, this record sounds as if it was recorded solely for the Brighton label. On the other hand, it is far from what you would call painting by numbers, and rather combines a wide variety of influences that nestle together so harmoniously that for a moment it overshadows the rest of the label’s discography. The opening track, tellingly called “The Pleasant Grey”, recalls the foundation of the company laid by its co-founder Simon Raymonde as bassist and keyboardist of the Cocteau Twins, and one waits for the ethereal voice of Liz Fraser – but puff cake!

Here you feel more hope than despair

Tim Smith, once the singer and songwriter of Midlake, is moving a musical decade closer with his new project. While his band was inspired by the 70s, the sounds of the 80s now dominate. A sea of ​​electric and acoustic guitars, gentle, light keyboard tones, plus his wonderful vocals and occasional subtle brass. Smith, who founded Harp with his wife, Kathi Zung, has been listening to “Faith” for years, the Cure’s “gray phase,” so to speak. You have to push through the fog to get to the light – and here you feel more hope than despair.

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Although Smith lives in North Carolina, he has developed a soft spot for Britain, which is why a poem by William Blake served as the inspiration for “Daughters Of Albion.” Then again you feel a great American longing, you hear Seventies influences, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Americana. Kraut psychedelia à la Maccabees, even Barclay James Harvest. You wade through the fog, pick beautiful things along the way – and lo and behold, the album ends with the lines: “Quietly the sorrow flees from me/ Bright as day the soul no longer grieves/ I am the seed/ I wait, I wait for thee.”