rhys marsh

Much loved of this parish Rhys Marsh’s ‘suspended in a weightless wind’ was given a limited release a little while back. Again another release that somehow sneaked in and hid itself amid the piles of cd’s much to our horrified embarrassment. Again mentioned briefly in earlier dispatches this self released EP limited to just 100 hand numbered copies features five cover re-workings of songs / artists that have inspired the former Mandala / Autumnal Ghost man the most notable being the previously previewed take on Nick Drake‘s ‘things behind the sun‘. as mentioned on countless occasions throughout these musings there‘s always cause for guarded intakes of breath when faced with covers of the Drake canon, I mean how do you improve on perfection unless however the re-appraisal happens to be by Beautify junkyards or the telescopes who between them in recent times have realised such follies in crafting near faithful copies and have rather more opted to single out a facet of their chosen track for cover to delve a little deeper in order to present a different and in the case of both mentioned artists a unique perspective. Likewise under the sensitive craft of Marsh, in truth one of the most mercurial moments from the painfully sparse Drake canon, ‘things behind the sun’ is here arrested by the radiant application of a lushly toned panoramic swoon of surrendering strings to enhance the sweetly distracted euphoria of the authors poetic bitter sweet reflection itself oft incorrectly deemed melancholic an morose. I’ll admit from the outset that my knowledge of Crosby, stills and nash could be written on a small stamp and still have space aplenty to wax lyrically as to why the eagles ’hotel California’ is so overrated. That’s woke you up, slagging off the eagles is it seems still a forbidden blood sport – we brace ourselves for the impending onslaught of badly written missives in their defence – alas it won’t work we torch on sight anything remotely Eagle-y that comes our way. And so back to ’hopelessly hoping’ originally by CSN and here spirited away in a gorgeously soft psych baroque aura whose romance and yearning is somewhat overshadowed by its mystery and enchantment, if anything this out smarts the Drake cover which is no small feat and like all good re-appraisals now has us ransacking the CSN back catalogue for a quick spot of catching up which is I’m sure you’ll agree is the mark of an exquisite cover – will appeal in the main to admirers of Paul Roland. Scott Walker is another artist whose back catalogue flashes red warning signs to would be souls seeking to stamp their own persona on his craft, happily ’winter night’ is traced with a demurring late night after glow framed in a softly honeyed torch noir much recalling Marc Almond’s work with the Mambas while king crimson’s ’moonchild’ is achingly rephrased with an emotion sapping widescreen grandeur that freewheels between the spectral and the monastic. Best of the set comes with the parting ’mellowing grey’ – originally by the Family – frankly borders on the supernatural given its spell crafted seduction, that said edges matters in the affection stakes and quite simply one of the most beautifully effected things we’ve heard since the debuting full length by odd fellow’s casino way back when we were so much younger.

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