Inhabiting the lofty and hallowed ground somewhere between the Fleet Foxes and his Bella Union labelmates Midlake, multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick has come up with an utterly charming record in this, his second solo outing.
Whilst not a concept album in the traditional sense of the phrase, the thinking behind itstartshear.com will delight audiophiles everywhere. Broderick’s wheeze of making the album title a URL should, he hopes, cause listeners to create a link to the website every time they discuss the album, where they will be able to find lyrics and artwork, much like a physical album. Broderick, you see, believes that when music is downloaded, the listener loses the full experience of being able to view the artwork and read the lyrics as originally intended. This way you get the whole package – an idea not a million miles away from special releases by the likes of Kid Canaveral who put out a package with their excellent Shouting at Wildlife last year which featured both CD & Vinyl as a bundle.
Starting off simply with I Am Piano – a clever keys and strings arrangement which wouldn’t sound out of place on either a film score or a King Creosote & Jon Hopkins record – the album builds in intensity and scope adding vocal layers with the sparse harmonies of A Tribute to Our Letter Writing Days which calls to mind uber-cool American indie film soundtracks. Juno anyone?
Blue swoops and soars on its simple guitar refrain and leads beautifully into Yoshimi era Flaming Lips on title track It Starts Hear before stripping back the layers again for the Meursault-channelling of Asleep. This is a truly lovely album. It’s late-night, candle-lit, roaring-fire music. It’s big, long walks with your hat pulled over your ears and your coat zipped right up. It’s music to envelope and enfold and ultimately drift away in.
Buy it and be uplifted.