This gorgeous album finally receives the treatment that it richly deserves, a deluxe vinyl release to celebrate these deft and delicate songs in all their glory, plus a wealth of bonus material..mine also came with a tote bag! But just as it has always been, it’s all about the music and the music is wonderful. Song has always been a great way to explore emotion, from peppy poppy love songs to the emotive grandeur of the classical world to the, quite unnecessary, power ballad but Of Shadows lies in a much more intimate and rewarding place. A place that borders on the same musical pastures as those beloved of the likes of Damien Rice and Ben Howard, though more shaded and secluded perhaps.
The album is themed around the concept of light and dark but merely uses this as a metaphor to plumb the depths of human emotion and the duality of relationships, especially relationships that are coming to an end. It is an emotional yin and yang, a place where the hope and happiness is balanced by the loss and longing and it is this complex side of the human condition that is explored throughout.
The result is a series of songs with both musical space and lyrical depth, a place where musical atmospherics collect in between the notes, where your own experiences can be read between the lines of these personal songs. Lorca’s Roses is dark and beautiful in the extreme, a sort of Mediterranean gothic folk piece, What Did I Say? is simple and reflective and then there are songs such as In The Cold which, musically at least conforms to an almost pop format, chilled and wistful, but easily accessible to even the most mainstream pop-pickers.
For an album built on such intimate thoughts and personal reflections it is wonderfully relatable, but then again, there are going to be few people who listen to this who can’t empathise with the scenes and scenarios being played out by the songs. Most music comes from the head. The best comes from the heart. It is not often you hear the sound of an artist’s very soul.