Sweep Me Away – Ed Lofstedt (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

ed lofstedt - sweep me away (press pack) - cd case-front 2Music can be used to do many things, evoke emotions, enhance or change moods, it can be deep and clever, throwaway and frivolous and sometimes it can even change your life. It can also be used to send a message, act as a voice in the wilderness and give people hope to others.

Bristol singer-songwriter Ed Lofstedt has teamed up with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) a charity for the prevention of suicide in men aged 18 – 45 and attempted to set to music the turmoil and confusion of the modern world, of love, loss and life and the pressures faced by young people today, to raise awareness for the campaign.

It is an album of many hues, some tracks such as The Wheel dealing with the same minimalism and atmospheres that you expect from the likes of Damien Rice, others such as Sea of Japan taking more obvious, but no less supple, melodic routes. But always there is a wonderful intricacy and slightly leftfield approach which matches commerciality with a more artistic approach, something that will appeal to both the serious music consumer and the fashionista alike. It takes the integrity of folk, the accessibility of pop, the earnestness of indie and blends them into a wonderful swirling and difficult to pin down genre.

It is an album that requires repeated play, each run through revealing some subtlety or musical detail, interesting counterpoint or non-conformist structure that you may have missed the first time out. It is therefore a rewarding album, one that, because it releases its secrets slowly means that as a listener you feel as if you are doing the work, that it is a personal voyage of discovery, that it is somehow yours. And you know how us music fans like to feel that we were the first to discover any new musical territory, well, this is the perfect voyage of discovery.

The album is released on 20th March with a free launch gig at The Grain Barge in Bristol on 30th.

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