Given Crippled Black Phoenix’s levels of productivity – a total of nine albums in an eight year recording history (that is, if you take account of both the 2009 compilation 200 Tons Of Bad Luck and last year’s live offering, Live Poznań), coupled to a punishing touring schedule – you might think that the band’s commander-in-chief Justin Greaves would surely have precious little time for anything else. Except, maybe that is, to drive around in his car and listen to Just Another Love Song by Killing Mood, a solo platform for Swedish songstress Belinda Kordic. It was there that Greaves first fell in love with her voice and in her words and timbre he heard the perfect accompaniment for his music. From this humble beginning Se Delan emerged.
Having already done so last year with his first solo album The Devil’s Business – an original soundtrack to the low budget British horror movie of the same name – Justin Greaves once more steps outside of the CBP mothership. This time he harnesses his musical vision to that of Belinda Kordic and together they have produced Se Delan’s début long player, The Fall. Kordic’s assertive presence and objectivity has enabled the CBP multi-instrumentalist to rein in some of the sonic excess of that band and its ever-revolving door of musicians. Where once there was extreme melancholia, uncompromising epicism and huge, huge slabs of music, now there is a far greater sense of light and shade, much tighter focus and an often remarkable restraint.
Spread fairly evenly over the record’s three-quarters of an hour duration, The Fall’s ten songs are primarily languid and expansive expressions of the most atmospheric of dream-like pop. Kordic’s beguiling voice – a near neighbour of Hope Sandoval and Jennifer Charles of New York duo Elysian Fields – floats seductively over the hypnotic texture of Greaves’ compositions as one moment drifts effortlessly into the next. ‘Beneath The Sea’ hints at the often unhurried beauty of Mazzy Star while the grittier ‘Tonight’ brings to mind early Cocteau Twins. It is really only on the ‘The Hunt’ where Greaves does brings a greater rock discernment to the table, adding a nice contrast to what is an otherwise perfect exercise in how best to burrow deep into the listener’s consciousness with tenderness.
The Fall was released on 14th April 2014 through Kscope
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