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ED HARCOURT RELEASES HIS FINEST WORK YET WITH NEW MINI-LP
Ed Harcourt - Time of Dust 8/10
Out 20/01/2014Ghostly opening track
Come Into My Dreamland, is more musically complex than any of his previous releases and reveals an unbeknown much darker, gothic and brooding side – a complete change from say
Born In the 70s, one of his more pop influenced songs
. On the strengths of this track alone it is a more exciting and interesting Ed, haunting Theremin sounds wibble and wobble over his trademark haunting piano.
In My Time of Dust is a more traditionally Ed style song, more harmonious than
Dreamland, on this Harcourt pushes his vocals. While Harcourt’s songwriting through the years has always been of an extremely high standard it has sometimes been his vocals that have often just fallen into myriad of other MOR male singer/songwriters but on this track he is pushing vocally, using his voice differently and more urgently. On the closing song
Love Is A Minor Key the vocals are earnest, like an old creaking piano, reflective and thoughtful.
The Saddest Orchestra (It Only Plays for You) is as melancholic and as delicate as its title suggests. It is very grand and almost operatic, lush keys swirl around the vocals and part way through it builds momentum,
We All Went Down With The Ship and
Parliament of Rooks are probably the most traditionally Harcourt track on the EP, slightly rockier in places with his trademark warble.
We All Went Down With The Ship is Harcourt at his most theatrical (think a male sort of Florence and the Machine), the clashing instruments evoke a feeling of a shipwreck, the boat rocking violently, belongings rolling around, in the midst of the chaos Harcourt is sat at his piano singing until the waves come crashing over until he's sunk to the bottom.
Time of Dust is a wonderful EP, a dusky, dark, folksy affair; it marks a definite change in direction. After spending years falling in and out of the critics circles and just achieving moderate success but not quite finding the audience he deserves could this EP be the catalyst for reaching a much wider audience that on the strength of this release he so rightly merits?