In a world filled with over produced and over hyped records from some of the music industries giants, it becomes increasingly harder to find something that feels genuine, raw and with a true sense of personality in regards to an artist’s vision and standpoint. Fortunately the latest offering from Ivan Moult gives all of the above and more, with his sophomore album release Longest Shadow.
The Cardiff based singer-songwriter with a flair for Traditional Folk music mixed with Americana, Blues and Indie Rock, has carefully created a nostalgia inducing easy listening masterpiece that can truly take you on an almost out of body experience, while dissecting the narrators emotional state of mind, as well as our own. It’s very rare to find an album that creates the safe space for catharsis and Moult’s combination of confessional lyricism, and the soul grabbing vocal stylings truly has a deep connection to the human spirit.
With so many tracks capturing you in its endearing presence through the speakers, it becomes rather hard to find just one or two standouts, which has lead to such high praise for such songs as ‘Fool On The Floor’, ‘Keep Cautious’ and the albums namesake ‘Longest Shadow’.
‘Fool On The Floor’ is a simplistic yet surprisingly sensual track with themes of how the narrator’s only goal is to please his partner in the middle of their throws of passion. The tracks biggest success is its ambiguous nature, which allows us to vicariously live through his thought process and description to land the audience inside our own memories of passionate lovemaking. Essentially it allows Moult to become the narrator in the retelling of our most vulnerable, yet sexually liberating experiences.
‘Keep Cautious’ has the great ability of making the audience feel Moult is playing a live private show right in front of you, because of its stripped back and raw sensibility. The songs overall message is that of reminding us of how letting go of the people we love, can sometime be the only way that we can save them. With this heartbreaking overall theme the track also conjures so many images of tragic love story montages, which can leave you on the verge of shedding a tear.
The records title track has a more Celtic Folk feel resonating through the instrumental, which is teamed with another story of a love affair filled with passion and dedication. But the truly special quality to this track in particular, is the way in which it can seep into your memory bank and send you into a deep nostalgia. Listening to ‘Longest Shadow’ illuminated the image of the coastline, nestled in the arms of a lover staring out at the turbulent tide in what feels like an eternal bliss.
The albums vulnerable personality can entice you to divulge into your most personal and maybe even painful memories and yet feel safe overall, with the presence of Moult’s haunting yet somehow reassuring and tender vocal delivery. Track after track, its stylistic qualities remain eerily similar yet embody a totally different entity going through the albums progression, which is highly enjoyable as well as rather therapeutic is multiple instances across the record.
It’s not often that you can find a piece of music that can truly speak to the soul like Moult has created. The album may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but by listening closely and allowing yourself to get lost in the music, then you can truly appreciate the genius that is Longest Shadow. Score: 9/10
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