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(51:32; Bad Elephant Music)
Multi-instrumentalist Charlie Cawood is back with his second solo album. Iím pretty sure there isnít a stringed instrument he hasnít been able to master, but here he restricts himself to just different types of acoustic, classical and electrical guitars and various basses, and bringing in a whole host of guests to provide the orchestration. Charlie is a veteran of the London music scene, best known as bassist of critically acclaimed psychedelic octet Knifeworld, and instrumentalist/co-arranger for Emmy-nominated classical choir Mediaeval Baebes. If that isnít enough he is also a member of three other bands, Lost Crowns, My Tricksy Spirit, and Tonochrome. Most of the album is instrumental, but one of the guests involved this time around is iamthemorningís Marjana Semkina, who contributes vocals and lyrics to two tracks. In many ways this feels far more like a modern classical romantic album than anything else: it is lush, it is beautiful, relaxing, delicate, complex and complicated, but beguiling and inviting all at the same time. It is one of those albums which I just donít want to end as it takes me to a magical mystical place, deep in a forest with the sun coming through the canopy, walking through the leaf clutter with deer and rabbits visible in the near distance while there is a stream babbling and glistening in the dappled sunlight. It makes me want to sit down and rest for a while, just relax and take in the sounds and surroundings, slow the world and just take a minute away from the always connected always ďonĒ mentality. This is music for the soul, with strings, flute, bodhrans, glockenspiels, brass, woodwind, harp and even some MiniMoog when the time is right. It is hard to describe just how filled with joy I am just from playing this, with melodies and counter melodies taking me to a place I never want to leave. At times there is darkness and even some atonal sounds, but it is important to have these contrasts so it is easier to appreciate the sense of wonder when it evaporates. Written in just three months, although it then took a year to orchestrate, this is a compelling and wondrous piece of work. The title is taken from a quote by writer Russell Hoban, about the blurring together of the moments and thoughts that constitute a life, and here Charlie is taking us to a pastoral world and lifestyle sadly not often found these days. I can happily play this all day, and is essential listening to all those who want to hear something very special indeed.
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